By Bonnie K. Goodman
The upcoming presidential debates now have moderators. The Commission on Presidential Debates released the names of the journalists moderating the four debates on Friday, Sept. 1, 2016. The journalists represent the major news outlets NBC, CBS, ABC News, CNN and FOX News, and include Lester Holt, Elaine Quijano, Martha Raddatz, Anderson Cooper and Chris Wallace.
The first presidential debate on Monday, Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, will be moderated by NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt. Holt is the only moderator that received Republican nominee Donald Trump’s stamp of approval. In August, Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “Lester Holt is a good guy.”
The second presidential debate on Sunday, Oct. 9, at Washington University in St. Louis will be conducted as a town hall-style event and will be co-hosted by ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.
The third and final presidential debate on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas will be moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.
Meanwhile, the one and only vice presidential debate will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia and will be moderated by CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano.
The co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. and Michael D. McCurry issued a statement. Fahrenkopf and McCurry commended the choice of moderators, “These journalists bring extensive experience to the job of moderating, and understand the importance of using expanded time periods effectively.”
The co-chairs then discussed the themes for the debates, “The formats chosen for this year’s debates are designed to build on the formats introduced in 2012, which focused big blocks of time on major domestic and foreign topics. We are grateful for their willingness to moderate, and confident that the public will learn more about the candidates and the issues as a result.” The specific themes for each debate will be announced at a later date.
Raddatz is the only moderator to have done so in a previous presidential election; she moderated the vice presidential debate in 2012. Cooper and Wallace have taken on moderating duties numerous times during the primaries, for the Democratic and GOP debates respectively, while, Holt and Quijano are both moderating for the first time.