CNN's Candy Crowley To Be First Female Presidential Debate Moderator Since 1992

This is a victory for three New Jersey high school students who launched a petition drive calling for a woman to moderate a presidential debate. It’s the first time this has happened since ABC’s Carole Simpson posed questions to former President George H.W. Bush, and his challengers Bill Clinton and Ross Perot in 1992. But Crowley will have a limited role in the way her session goes. It will be conducted as a town hall where vetted audience members ask most of the questions. The Commission On Presidential Debates unveiled its plan this morning.  Each meeting will run from 9:00-10:30 PM ET. There’ll be no opening statements by the candidates, but each can make a two-minute closing statement. There are some tweaks from previous debates that “are designed to focus big time blocks on major domestic and foreign topics,” CPD co-chairmen Frank Fahrenkopf and Michael McCurry said. The group will also lead an Internet project designed to help voters understand the issues, and recommend topics to the moderators. Here’s the run-down: (more…)

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