Debates: Behind the Scenes

Before the moderator asks the first question at the upcoming presidential debates, both camps will have rehearsed every message, every gesture — even the makeup. NPR's Joe Palca talks about preening, prepping and positioning for the presidential debates.

Before the moderator asks the first question at the upcoming presidential debates, both camps will have rehearsed every message, every gesture — even the makeup. NPR's Joe Palca talks about preening, prepping and positioning for the presidential debates.

Guests:

Paul Begala, part of debate prep team for both President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. Co-host of CNN's Crossfire.

Ken Adelman, part of debate prep team for Dan Quayle in 1992. Arms control director under President Reagan (1983-1987).

Gene Gibbons, executive editor of Stateline.org. Panelist for 1992 presidential debates 12 years, chief White House correspondent for Reuters.

Norman Wain, adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University

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