- Publisher unveils Hillary Clinton’s new memoir — ‘Hard Choices’
- Britain’s Labour Party hires David Axelrod — but can’t spell his name
- Washington and Lee law students demand ban on Confederate flag, say Gen. Lee was racist
- Prosecutors seek arrest warrant for ferry captain in South Korea
- Ann Coulter takes up ‘Mitt Romney for President’ chant again
- Mount Everest avalanche kills a dozen Sherpa guides
- Vice principal saved from South Korean sinking ferry found hanged
- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
Final presidential debate aimed at undecided voters, held in intimate setting
BOCA RATON, Fla. — The third debate between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney featured the most intimate setting for a presidential face-off in recent years.
The Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University seats only a few hundred people. Unlike the second debate, a town-hall format in which Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama stood and often circled each other like boxers in a ring, this debate had the candidates seated at a desk with moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS asking the questions.
“You have to be quiet,” Mr. Schieffer admonished the audience minutes before the debate started. “We want a debate that’s worthy of the greatest country in the world.”
The audience followed his instructions so well that Mr. Schieffer turned around to face them and said, “It’s going to be about five minutes yet. So you can talk quietly.” The tension in the hall was burst with laughter.
Inside the relatively small arena, the audience members included about 100 Lynn students who won tickets in a lottery. And although the debate was aimed at undecided voters, at least one of the students can’t vote for either candidate. Graduate student Bernard Hollnbuchna is from Austria, but said he was thrilled nevertheless to be a part of the moment. More than 750 of the school’s 2,100 students applied for tickets.
Another non-traditional student who got to attend the debate was Jack Slotnick, an 86-year-old war veteran and Purple Heart recipient. University President Kevin Ross gave up his ticket so that Mr. Slotnick could witness the debate in person.
Among the partisans in the crowd was Scott Van Duzer, an Obama supporter who made news last month by lifting the president off the ground in a bear hug when Mr. Obama visited Mr. Van Duzer’s pizza shop in Fort Pierce, Fla.
Also seated with first lady Michelle Obama were former Florida Sen. Bob Graham; former Florida Rep. Robert Wexler; former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican who supports the president’s re-election bid; and Lesley Walters, a resident of Boca Raton and a veteran of the U.S. Army.
By rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, the humidity inside the hall must not be greater than 50 percent (a challenge in warm and muggy Florida). The candidates’ dressing rooms had to be 750 square feet each.
Lynn University spent about $5 million in upgrades to prepare for the debate, including new entrances to campus and an upgraded computer network.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Skeptics on all sides take aim of John Kerry's tentative deal on Ukraine
- Obama commutes drug dealer's sentence because of clerical error
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Obama calls for prayer on anniversary of Boston Marathon bombing
- Obama urges Putin to defuse Russian separatism in Ukraine
Latest Blog Entries
- Obama and Boehner congratulate U.S. men's hockey on win over Russia
- Americans say income gap will shrink if government butts out, poll shows
- WH spokesman Jay Carney recognizes beard's 'insufficiency,' shaves it off
- Obama misses deadline again on budget
- Biden burns rubber in driveway, laments road restrictions
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- CBO shows it's Paul Ryan 4, Obama 0 on budget targeting
- PRUDEN: When a bored president just 'mails it in'
- Joe Biden's biggest gaffe: VP blowing his 2016 head start
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- With pot and e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco is just waiting to inhale emerging markets
- Golden Hammer: Easter candy bitter taste for taxpayers?
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.