Barack Obama and Mitt Romney disagree on many things, but their teams reached consensus on one issue — the room temperature in the hall at their second debate.
By bipartisan agreement, the non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates kept the room at a cool 62 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit (17 to 18 degrees Celsius), according to CNN, whose reporter Candy Crowley moderated the debate.
In fact, the adversaries came together on dozens of details, large and small, that make up the debates, from the style of chairs on the debate floor to the positioning of the television cameras to the actions of the moderator.
“The candidates shall be seated on director chairs before the audience, which shall be seated in approximately a horseshoe arrangement as symmetrically as possible,” according to a 21-page memo obtained by Time magazine.
The debate commission oversaw an advance coin toss to see who answered the first question, but for the most part the preparation is one months-long negotiation between the two parties.
It addressed everything from the kind of microphone used by the candidates in the second debate — wireless hand-held — to the style of stage backdrop, to the dressing rooms that provide “private seclusion” for the candidates.
At Tuesday’s town hall in Hofstra University, on Long Island near New York city, some 80 undecided voters — likely voters, the two sides demanded — were in the forum to ask questions of the White House hopefuls.
The two sides laid out extensive details about just how the town hall moderator would conduct the debate, including agreeing that Crowley would not ask follow-up questions.
That went out the window less than half-way through the 90-minute event, when Crowley asked the candidates to clarify their positions.