The rules for tonight's debate
Tue October 7, 2008 9:35 am

This is from my favorite web site, politicalwire.com. It represents outtakes from a longer piece by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago-Sun Times about the negotiations between the two camps for the debate. I recommend Sweet's article. Readers will find it informative. Sweet points out that the agreement allows candidates to take notes, but they may not bring prepared notes into the debate. Sarah Palin appeared to violate that rule in the vice-presidential debate.

Here is Political Wire's summary:

* The questions will "be culled from a group of 100 to 150 uncommitted likely voters in the audience and another one-third to come via the Internet."

* Gallup "has the job of making sure the questioners reflect the demographic makeup of the nation."

* "An audience member will not be allowed to switch questions.

* The moderator may not ask followups or make comments.

* The person who asks the question will not be allowed a follow-up, and his or her microphone will be turned off after the question is read.

* A camera shot will only be shown of the person asking -- not reacting.

* While there will be director's chairs (with backs and foot rests), McCain and Obama will be allowed to stand -- but they can't roam past their 'designated area' to be marked on the stage.

* McCain and Obama are not supposed to ask each other direct questions.

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