Official 2008 Obama/McCain Presidential Debate Schedule, Videos

The official Presidential debate schedule for John McCain and Barack Obama along with Vice Presidential candidates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden has been finalized and released in a joint statement from each campaign. There will also be a vice presidential debate as well.

Click below to watch the entire video from all three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate, in their unedited entirety.

September 26, 2008: Video: Presidential debate with foreign policy focus, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

October 2, 2008: Video: Palin / Biden Vice Presidential debate, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

October 7, 2008: Video: Presidential debate in a town hall format, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

October 15, 2008: Video: Presidential debate with domestic policy focus, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY


August 16, 2008: Video: Saddleback Civil Forum with Rick Warren at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California
(Not part of the official sanctioned schedule but both candidates attended)

September 11, 2008: Video: 9/11 Forum on public and national service from Columbia University, New York
(Not part of the official sanctioned schedule but both candidates attended)

Here is a break down of what each debate will consist of:

1. First Presidential Debate:
Date: September 26 – Site: University of Mississippi – Topic: Foreign Policy & National Security – Moderator: Jim Lehrer – Staging: Podium debate – Answer Format: The debate will be broken into nine, 9-minute segments. The moderator will introduce a topic and allow each candidate 2 minutes to comment. After these initial answers, the moderator will facilitate an open discussion of the topic for the remaining 5 minutes, ensuring that both candidates receive an equal amount of time to comment

2. Vice Presidential Debate
Date: October 2nd – Site: Washington University (St. Louis) – Moderator: Gwen Ifill – Staging/Answer Format: Debate will consist of both foreign and domestic policy questions asked by the moderator. Format will be similar to the presidential debates.

3. Second Presidential Debate
Date: October 7 – Site: Belmont University – Moderator: Tom Brokaw – Staging: Town Hall debate – Format: The moderator will call on members of the audience (and draw questions from the internet). Each candidate will have 2 minutes to respond to each question. Following those initial answers, the moderator will invite the candidates to respond to the previous answers, for a total of 1 minute, ensuring that both candidates receive an equal amount of time to comment. In the spirit of the Town Hall, all questions will come from the audience (or internet), and not the moderator.

4. Third Presidential Debate
Date: October 15 Site: Hofstra University – Topic: Domestic and Economic Issues – Moderator: Bob Schieffer – Staging: Candidates will be seated at a table – Answer Format: Same as First Presidential Debate – Closing Statements: At the end of this debate (only) each candidate shall have the opportunity for a 90 second closing statement.

All four debates will begin at 9pm ET, 6pm PT and last for 90 minutes. Both campaigns also agreed to accept the CPD’s participation rules for third-party candidate participation. Third-party candidates will be included if they poll 15% or above in at least 5 national polls.

Each debate will be broadcast on the major broadcast networks, including CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and PBS. They will also be aired on cable news channels such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and C-SPAN.

Online streaming is available at or among others.

We will have full videos of each debate uploaded once they air.