The first Obama-Romney debate is scheduled for Wednesday in Denver. On the eve of this momentous political event, we hear how our presidential debates compare to those in France where the last president was elected in May. Newsweek Paris Bureau Chief Christopher Dickey says political debates there are a test of knowledge, endurance and self-control.

  • Francois Hollande (L), Socialist party candidate for the 2012 French presidential election, and Nicolas Sarkozy (R), France's President and UMP party candidate for his re-election, seen with journalists David Pujadas (2ndR) and Laurence Ferrari (2ndL) in this video grab image from France 2 Television, during a televised debate at studios in La Plaine Saint-Denis, near Paris, May 2, 2012. REUTERS/France 2 Television/Handout (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS MEDIA) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.

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    REUTERS

  • François Hollande, left, and Nicolas Sarkozy, right, in the last presidential debate, days before Hollande was elected to the French presidency last May. (Photo: REUTERS/Handout)

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