Chapter Four

Bob as a Moderator

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A Cool Head and Calm Demeanor

Bob always said the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam War, Watergate scandal and 9/11 terrorist attacks were the biggest stories he covered in his long career. But he said being asked to moderate three presidential debates (in 2004, 2008 and 2012) was not just the biggest honor accorded him; the debates were also the most intellectually challenging of all his assignments – and certainly the most daunting.

"I've been on TV for so long that I don’t get nervous. I really don't," he said. "But standing backstage before the Bush-Kerry debate, I looked down at my hands, and I was shaking like a leaf. Then I thought, 'You're not the one playing in the political World Series; they are. You’re just the umpire.' That sort of settled me down, and we had a good debate."

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