The first Presidential Debate, between Senators Barack Obama, D-Ill, and John McCain, R-AZ.
Friday, September 26, 2008, 8 p.m. CDT at the University of Mississippi's Gertrude C. Ford Center in Oxford, Mississippi, moderated by Jim Lehrer, executive editor and anchor of The NewsHour on PBS. This debate was to
focus on foreign policy and national security.
Sens. Obama and McCain met Friday for the first presidential debate, focused on foreign policy. Moderator Jim Lehrer questioned the candidates on the economic bailout plan pending on Capitol Hill before moving to the issues of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. Conditions for meeting with foreign leaders and the next step for the war in Iraq were especially contentious topics.
NewsHour analysts Mark Shields, David Brooks, Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, presidential historian Michael Beschloss and Politico's Jeanne Cummings weigh in on the candidates' performances.