The Commission on Presidential Debates released dates and details Wednesday so mark your calendar for a tension-filled Halloween season! Following a familiar format, there will be three 90-minute debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama on October 3, October 16, and October 22, with a vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Someone Exciting But Not Too Exciting on October 9. We need only reflect on the bazillion iconic moments that have emerged from debates through the years -- Sarah Palin's wink, Tina Fey's wink, Julianne Moore's wink -- to start getting nerd-excited. The CPD's press release has more details on debate timing and subject matter:
First presidential debate (October 3, 2012, University of Denver, Denver, CO)
The debate will focus on domestic policy and be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on topics to be selected by the moderator and announced several weeks before the debate.
The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the topic.
Vice presidential debate (October 11, 2012, Centre College, Danville, KY)
The debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics and be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. The moderator will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the question.
Second presidential debate (October 16, 2012, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY)
The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.
Third presidential debate (October 22, Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL)
The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate and will focus on foreign policy.