The debates will be sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates and both the Obama campaign and the McCain campaign have agreed to the terms and framework to be applied to each of the debates.
John McCain and Barack Obama have issued a joint statement on an agreement the two campaigns have come to about three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate, naming dates, locations and term agreements.
The John McCain website offers the joint statement which states, "The Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns have agreed to hold three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate in September and October sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The campaigns have come to the earliest agreement on presidential debates reached in any general election in recent history. This announcement reflects the presidential campaigns' agreement on dates, locations, and the formats for the fall debates. Campaign-appointed debate negotiators House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said they were pleased to have reached an early agreement to provide the American people with the opportunity to see and hear the candidates debate the critical issues facing the country. The two campaigns have accepted sponsorship of the debates by the Commission on Presidential Debates, subject to the debates being conducted under the terms of their agreement."
All the debates will last 90 minutes.
The first of the Presidential debates will be held on September 26, 2008, at the University of Mississippi and the topic of the debate will be "Foreign Policy & National Security".
It will be a podium debate and the moderator will be Jim Lehrer.
This first debate will broken into nine-minute segments, with the Lehrer introducing the topic and each candidate will have two minutes to comment. Then the moderator will open a 5 minute discussion, making sure each candidate gets equal time to comment.
The second Presidential debate will be held on October 7, 2008, at Belmont University.
It will be a town-hall style debate and the moderator will be Tom Brokaw.
The agreed framework for that debate will have the moderator calling on the audience to ask questions, some questions will come from the Internet as well, each candidate will have two minutes to answer the questions, then the candidates will each have one minute to respond to each of the answers given, assuring equal time be given to both candidates.
The third debate will be on October 15, 2008, at Hofstra University, and the topic will be "Domestic and Economic policy."
The candidates will be seated at a table for that debate and the moderator will be Bob Schieffer.
The framework agreed upon for that debate will be the same as for the first debate with the exception of both candidates having 90 seconds at the end for closing statements.
The fourth debate agreed to will be for the not as yet named vice presidential running mates and will be held on October 2, 2008, at Washington University in St. Louis.
The moderator for that debate will Gwen Ifill and the framework for that debate is to be determined after both presidential candidates have been chosen.
All four debates will begin at 9pm ET.
After the candidate's performances at Saddleback, I think John Mccain will do better at these debates because they will not have a teleprompter to read from and especially the town-hall style debate where the candidates have to answer questions from the audience.
These are the types of settings that John McCain does very well in and that Barack Obama doesn't.
H/T The Swamp.