Episode #344: Great Moments in Presidential Debates

Presidential debates don’t necessarily decide who will occupy the White House.  But history has shown that regardless of what effect they do have, they are often memorable — for better or worse.

Our “Great Moments in Presidential Debates” special starts with Alan Schroeder, an expert on the subject, assessing Ronald Reagan‘s great lines in his 1980 debate with President Carter and 1984 with Walter Mondale.  He also discusses the role the Kennedy-Nixon debates had in 1960 and what, if anything, the vice-presidential debates mean in the grand scheme of things.

Marvin Kalb, who in 1984 was a correspondent for NBC News, recalls his role in that famous second Reagan-Mondale debate.  Jon Margolis, then a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, talks about his participation in the VP debate between Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle in 1988.  And Bob Schieffer, the former host of CBS’ Face the Nation, talks about how he prepared for his role as moderator in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 debates.

And what’s a discussion about debates without Saturday Night Live?  We end our program with memorable SNL debate skits from the past.

Photo via Getty Images

Music used in the podcast:

Don’t Ask Me by Public Image Limited

Question by The Moody Blues

The Dangling Conversation by Simon & Garfunkel

Casual Conversations by Supertramp

Caught in the Beat by Broke for Free

No New Tale to Tell by Love and Rockets

2 thoughts on “Episode #344: Great Moments in Presidential Debates”

  1. No mention of the Reagan campaign’s spying on the Carter campaign for information used to prepare Reagan for that sole debate? People argue over its significance, but it might have been extremely significant, allowing as it did for Mr Reagan, already peri-senile, to prepare more scripted responses than he could have done otherwise.


Leave a Reply

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00