Presidential Debates

1:40pm

Fri October 5, 2012
It's All Politics

Commission On Presidential Debate Defends Moderator Jim Lehrer

Moderator Jim Lehrer addresses the audience before the first presidential debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday
Charlie Neibergall AP

Longtime PBS anchor Jim Lehrer was heavily criticized for his role in moderating the first presidential debate on Wednesday.

Today, the Commission on Presidential Debates defended him, saying the format of the debate was intended facilitate a long discussion on each subject.

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2:33pm

Thu October 4, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama's Top Advisers Have Dissed His Debate Chops Before

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:03 pm

Despite President Obama's celebrated gift for oratory, the Obama supporters least surprised by his underwhelming performance against Mitt Romney may have been two of his top advisers.

Senior strategists David Plouffe and David Axelrod have long doubted Obama's debating skills. Their concerns date back to the 2008 presidential campaign, as Plouffe wrote in his book, The Audacity to Win. He put it plainly: "Historically, Obama was not a strong debater."

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12:14pm

Thu October 4, 2012
It's All Politics

That's Why Incumbents Used To Say No

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:44 pm

Mitt Romney makes his point as President Obama listens during Wednesday's debate in Denver.
Getty Images

In case anyone was wondering, this week's presidential debate demonstrated why incumbent presidents and others leading in the polls used to refuse to debate their challengers.

After John F. Kennedy used the first TV debates to boost his campaign against incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon in 1960, there simply were no debates until 1976. Running again with a big lead in 1968 and 1972, Nixon declined to debate and won both times. Lyndon B. Johnson also demurred in 1964 without damage en route to a landslide.

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10:00am

Thu October 4, 2012
The Two-Way

KitchenAid Apologizes For 'Offensive Tweet' About Obama's Grandmother

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:00 pm

While he was attending Columbia University in New York City, Barack Obama's maternal grandparents — Stanley and Madelyn Dunham — visited him there. The president lived with them in Hawaii for much of his youth.
Reuters /Landov

Appliance maker KitchenAid quickly deleted and apologized for a message that went out on its Twitter account during last night's presidential debate because the comment about President Obama and his grandmother was so offensive.

The comment writer — who has not been identified — picked up on the president's mention of his grandmother and tweeted that:

"Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! 'She died 3 days b4 he became president'."

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9:45am

Thu October 4, 2012
It's All Politics

The Men In The Middle: Jim Lehrer, Big Bird Caught In Debate Crossfire

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:45 pm

Big Bird, of the children's television show Sesame Street, in Los Angeles.
Matt Sayles AP

Two men — well one man and one big, yellow bird — were caught in the crossfire of last night's debate: the moderator Jim Lehrer and the Sesame Street character Big Bird.

It's safe to say that after last night the two of them are having very different mornings. While the veteran news anchor swallowed scathing reviews, Big Bird enjoyed a strong backing.

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