Candy Crowley, Martha Raddatz to host debates


Workers prepare the stage for a debate sponsored by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona at the Mesa Arts Center between Republican presidential candidates U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on February 22, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona.


Justin Sullivan

Candy Crowley, host of of CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday mornings, will be the first woman to host a presidential debate since Carole Simpson hosted in 1992.

Martha Raddatz of ABC News has been picked to moderate the vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and newly appointed Paul Ryan, according to USA Today.

Jim Lehrer of PBS and Bob Schieffer of CBS News will moderate the other two presidential debates, the Associated Press reported

Crowley, who is also CNN's senior political correspondent, owes at least some credit to three 16-year-olds from the New Jersey suburbs, who launched a petition on Change.org to get a woman in the moderator's seat for the first time in 20 years, Salon.com reported. 

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Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis were “shocked" at the lack of female representation in the presidential debates, and garnered 180,000 signatures for their cause. 

“What a huge victory for women, for equal representation, and for the more than 180,000 people who stood with us and demanded a female presidential debate moderator,” wrote Sammi Siegel on their Change.org page. “We are thrilled that the Commission on Presidential Debates is ending their 20-year drought on women moderators. It is long past due to have a woman on the same stage as the men running for president.” 

The Commission didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News about the girls' petition and its role in their selection of moderators. 

Lehrer will moderate the first town-hall debate between Obama and Romney, which will take place in Denver on October 3, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Crowley will moderate the second debate on October 16 in Hempstead, New York, the Times reported. Schieffer will moderate the third on October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida, and the vice presidential debate will take place on October 11 in Danville, Kentucky.

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