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Presidential debate moderated by Chappaqua grad Candy Crowley
During Tuesday's presidential debate, viewers will be watching to see if President Barack Obama will snap out of the passive performance he gave the last time the two candidates squared off or if Governor Mitt Romney can again steer the discussion into a voter bump, but another person taking performance notes from the last debate is moderator Candy Crowley, chief political correspondent at CNN and former Westchester County resident
As debate moderator, Crowley follows the widely panned Jim Lehrer who oversaw the first presidential face-off and the highly praised Martha Raddatz who chaired last week's vice presidential match. It is now up to Crowley, who graduated from Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, to strike the right balance at the town hall style debate taking place at Hofstra University in Hempstead.
Crowley caused some pre-debate debate herself when both the Romney and Obama campaigns objected to her stated intention to take an active role at the debate rather than sit back and moderate audience questions. Time Magazine reported the rivals came together to draft a statement on what they expected Crowley to do and not do, including: “the moderator will not rephrase the question or open a new topic … The moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked by the audience or the answers of the candidates during the debate."
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Both the Obama and Romney camps expressed concerns to the debate commission twice before their second go-around, but debate co-chairman Frank Fahrenkopf has said that the nominees' stipulations were never agreed to and Crowley will “facilitate discussion” as she sees fit as long as she does not introduce new topics.
One person cheering for Crowley to go ahead with her plan to follow-up is Carole Simpson, who is very familiar with Crowley's role. Simpson moderated the first presidential town hall debate between Bill Clinton, George Bush and Ross Perot during the 1992 election. Simpson was also the first woman to moderate a presidential debate and the only woman to do so until Crowley takes the stage.
The presidential debate airs from 9-10:30 p.m. on all major networks and 24-hour cable news stations.