Presidential debates between Obama and Romney scheduled for October

The Presidential debates have been pivotal in making, breaking or cementing a candidate’s chances. Photo: GOP nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2012 — A hundred days from today, November 6, the Presidential election will decide the path America takes over the coming four years. The next most important dates are when the presidential debates are held.

The conventions are interesting and entertaining, and they sometimes get highjacked, making them more interesting and entertaining, but for the most part they are a set-piece side show, a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing much.

However, the debates have been pivotal in making, breaking or cementing candidates’ chances. A gaffe during the debates is much more serious than a “misspoke” in London. Often deadly. It is a time when voters can size up the two men side by side, comparing their words, their grasp of foreign and domestic policies, their vision for America’s future, and their personalities. The latter is very important.

Just look back to the 1960 debate when a jowly Richard Nixon, sweating profusely under his pancake make-up ably debated John F. Kennedy who stood cool, never breaking a sweat under the hot lights. The sweat doomed Nixon.

Or remember when candidate and then California governor Ronald Reagan upended President Jimmy Carter’s attack on his Medicare stance when he quipped, “There you go again.” At that moment Reagan won. (See video below)

Neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney are truly warm personalities, far from being warm and fuzzy guys. Both are intelligent but rather cold fish. However, Obama has one advantage, his mega-watt smile that lights up rooms and auditoriums. Sorry, Mitt, your smile is weak and forced. So Romney will need to turn on the charm offensive as he launches his ideas during the debates, showing he is ready to be president while making Americans want to have a root beer with him. Not an easy task.

Vice-president Joe Biden will debate Mitt Romney’s running mate (unknown at this point) and that should prove to a fun debate as Joe is known for being perhaps loose-lipped but also witty, thinking fast on his feet. This time around, unlike when he debated Sarah Palin, Biden won’t be walking on the proverbial eggshells. Biden can now  unleash the inner Joe.

If you think October is still far off, it’s not. July is about wrapped up and August arrives on Wednesday, which means it is only two months until October.

Here’s the debate schedule to clip and put on your refrigerator:


October 3, Wednesday:

9:00-10:30 p.m. EDT, University of Denver, Colo. - Topic: Domestic policy

October 16, Tuesday:

9:00-10:30 p.m. EDT, Hofstra university, Long Island, N.Y. – Topic: Foreign and domestic policy

October 22, Monday:

9:00-10:30 p.m. EDT, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla., - Topic: Foreign policy


October 11, Thursday:

9-10:30 p.m. EDT, Centre College, Danville, Ky. – Topic: Foreign and domestic policy

Tickets for the 2012 debates, which are administered by the Commission on Presidential Debates, are limited. The host university’s students and faculty get most of the tickets via a lottery, with the rest of the tickets going to friends and family of the two campaigns and the rest to the media.

The Committee will also decide if any third-party candidates will participate in the debates. Moderators and TV stations broadcasting the debates are to be announced.

To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

Contact Catherine Poe


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