I wasn't aware that Jim Lehrer would be the moderator for tonight's Presidential debate in Denver.
I may actually watch.
The Denver Post did an interview of Lehrer about debates, about a week ago.
First, the details:
Q: Can you describe the presidential debate's format?
A: There are six segments of 15 minutes each. Each candidate will get a two-minute answer to the first question in each segment and then there will be an open discussion. I selected the subjects for the six segments and all of the questions.
An open discussion, where Mitt Romney has to speak off-the-cuff.
Q: What's your preparation been like leading up to the debate? Have you consulted any other journalists? Policy wonks?
A: I have been up to my eyeballs in reading. I have talked to numerous people, some of them journalists and policy experts, none of them remotely connected to a candidate or a special interest.
Q: You've said that you have "psychic scars" from moderating past debates. Can you explain what you mean by that?
A: The psychic scars are from having imagined— in real time — the various horrors that could befall me during a debate. I always know that I am but a hair-of-a-second away from a loose word or gesture, a missed point or stupid question that could affect the outcome of the debate — and even the election.
Q: Often times presidential candidates are masters at pivoting and not really answering pointed questions. How do you combat this technique that politicians seem to have mastered?
A: Deal with it the best you can. There are no magic formulas or techniques. Just hang in there until you get an answer or until everyone listening knows there never will be an answer.