Behind the Curtain of the Presidential Debates

Tonight Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will meet up in Milwaukee for yet another debate. The candidates undoubtedly have spent quite a bit of time honing their talking points and anticipating the questions they’ll face.

As you’ll see in this video below, the preparation actually goes much further than just the rhetoric–candidates are prepared for the color palette of the room, the precise number of inches between their podium and their opponents’, and much more.

The video takes place in 1992, as Governor Bill Clinton prepared in Kansas City, MO for the October 11 debate against Ross Perot and President George H.W. Bush at Washington University. The footage was aired nationally on PBS as part of THE 90’s Election Specials.

THE 90’s program was not scheduled for broadcast until after the election.¬†Because of personal relationships with Clinton’s staff, THE 90’s was granted exclusive access to the behind-the-scenes process. It’s not likely to occur again in a presidential campaign in a 21st century media environment.

Watch the full program, “It’s Debate-Able” at Media Burn.



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