The Commission On Presidential Debates has announced the names of the moderators for the upcoming United States Presidential debates.
First on the list is Lester Holt, anchor of the weekday edition of NBC Nightly News, who will be moderating the first debate on September 26 at Hofstra University at Hempstead, N.Y.
Meanwhile, Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Anderson Cooper of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 will moderate a town hall format at the Washington University in St. Louis on the 9th of October.
The third and final Presidential debate will then be held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on October 19 and will be moderated by FOX News' Chris Wallace, host of FOX News Sunday.
CBSN's Elaine Quijano will then moderate the vice presidential debate on October 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.
The list of news anchors selected is groundbreaking for being the most diverse in the history of the debates. Lester Holt is an African-American, Anderson Cooper is openly gay, Martha Raddatz and Elaine Quijano are women, and Miss Quijano is of Filipino descent.
Quijano's selection is also notable for being the first anchor from a digital news service to be selected as a moderator in a general election debate, and, at the age of 42, she is also the youngest journalist to do so since Judy Woodruff served in the role at age 41 in 1988.
The United States Presidential debates are an important part of the general election with a large audience tuning in. What the candidates say is dissected by news outlets and the general audience. The aftermath often affects the polls leading up to the election. Each candidate would want to make full use of this platform.
The Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, with two runs at the Senate and a previous run at the Presidency under her belt, is a practiced hand in these sort of debates. She will be a tough opponent against Republican standard bearer, Donald Trump, who has no prior political experience.
But, then again, Donald Trump has gone up against experienced politicians in the Republican debates, and he has often gotten attention with his brash words. While he may have appealed to the Republican base, it still remains to be seen if he can reach out to a much more general audience with the same tactics.