Presidential election debate contentious

Sept. 10, 2004 at 10:06 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Members of the bipartisan panel running the debates between the main U.S. presidential candidates are wearying of each side's pre-debate posturing.

More attention than ever has been paid this election to the composition of each candidate's pre-debate negotiating team.

Democrat John Kerry has named two of the most powerful lawyers in Washington, plus the sitting governors of Michigan and Arizona to his team.

President Bush has named a former secretary of state, a lobbyist turned governor of Mississippi, and one of the party's sharpest media personalities, Mary Matalin.

Their actual job, besides posturing and sending signals, is to settle debate details, like height of podiums, formats, number of debates. With all the star power on each side, it's taking longer than expected and irritating the commission.

"If they want to get in each other's faces and do the little playground routine, OK," said one person involved in the debate preparations, "But there's an event waiting to happen."

The first debate is set for Sept. 30 at the University of Miami, with the PBS anchor Jim Lehrer as moderator; it is to focus primarily on domestic policy. One or two more presidential debates are to follow.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Dakota refinery completed
Export-Import Bank ends operations as Congress failed to reauthorize
Germanwings pilot Lubitz buried quietly amid investigation
Optimism wins; crude oil recovers
Islamic State beheads women for sorcery