After Labor Day passes, we will be in the critical homestretch phase of the 2016 presidential campaign. Many folks who have been either casually following it or tuned it our completely, will with the November 8 election day looming on the horizon, start paying attention to the election and the candidates.
The presidential and vice presidential debates organized by the nonprofit Commission on Presidential Debates will be one of the ways that still undecided voters get the information that will help them decide who will be taking the oath of office to become our 45th president on January 20.
There will be three presidential debates between Democratic nominee Sec. Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump and one vice presidential debate between Sen Tim Kaine (D) and Gov. Mike Pence (R).
As for third party candidates, they will have to meet certain predetermined criteria as set out by the CPD before they will be allowed to participate.
The debates will last 90 minutes, and moderators will be selected soon. We already know the debate sites and formats, and here they are.
The first debate between Clinton and Trump is scheduled to take place on September 26 on the Hofstra University campus in Hempstead, NY.
That will be followed by the only vice presidential debate on October 4 on the Longwood University campus in Farmville, VA.
The second presidential debate will take place October 9 on the Washington University campus in St Louis, and will be a town hall format.
The final presidential debate will take place on October 19 on the University of Nevada- Las Vegas campus in Las Vegas, NV
The designated backup site for the 2016 presidential debates is Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
One thing I do hope the the CPD does take into consideration is to have someone other than white male or female journalists as debate moderators. There are plenty of non-white journalists who can handle debate moderation, and it’s past time that Black and Latino journalists had the opportunity to do so.
The last Black person to moderate a presidential debate was Carole Simpson back in 1992. Yes Gwen Ifill has moderated two debates in 2004 and 2008, but they were vice presidential ones.
It is past time to give a non white journalist the opportunity to moderate a presidential debate, and that needs to happen this year.