Schieffer Optimistic Format Will Help Him Keep Obama And Romney In Line At 3rd Debate

By Alex Weprin 

The New York TimesBrian Stelter writes about Candy Crowley’s performance during the 2nd presidential debate, and the challenges facing all moderators.

“Moderators are like umps and refs — sooner or later everyone is unhappy with them,” said Tom Brokaw, who helmed the town hall debate between Mr. Obama and John McCain 2008. “That’s exacerbated in part because the rules are never entirely clear and the candidates go on stage determined to bend them to their advantage.”

He also talks to CBS anchor Bob Schieffer, who is helming the 3rd and final debate next week:

Bob Schieffer of CBS, who will moderate the final presidential debate on Monday, said there’s no question that the candidates this year have been more combative with the moderators than in the past. “It is the golf course we play on now,” he said nonchalantly.

He said the format for his debate — which calls for the candidates to be seated at a table, as the vice presidential candidates were last week — may make it easier for him to control of the conversation. With that format, he said, “I think it is just easier to keep them on point. But we’ll see!”