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Presidential Debate Moderators


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Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters

Journalist Barbara Walters has moderated two presidential debates.

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Barbara Walters of ABC News is one of the few women who have moderated a presidential debate. She has presided over two: the 1984 presidential debate in Louisville, Ky., between Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic challenger Walter Mondale, a former Democratic vice president, and a 1976 presidential debate between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Va.

Though few women have moderated presidential debates, there have been some to preside over vice presidential debates.

Gwen Ifill of PBS, for example, moderated a October 2008 debate between vice president candidates Joe Biden, a Democratic U.S. senator from Delaware, and Sarah Palin, a Republican governor of Alaska. The debate, held at Washington University in St. Louis, drew about 69.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Ifill was also the moderator of an October 2004 vice presidential debate between Republican Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic nominee John Edwards, then a U.S. senator from North Carolina. The debate, held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, was seen by about 43.5 million TV viewers.

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