Changes to the rules of the first presidential debate have been released which could change the outcome of the debate.
According to a source with the Commission on Presidential Debates, the debate will proceed, uninterrupted.
“There are no commercial breaks, period,” the source said.
That also means if Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton should suffer a coughing episode, as she has in the past, she will need to deal with it on camera.
The rules also state the candidate’s microphones are not to be manipulated or muted.
Scheduled for Monday, the debate will last for 90 minutes, during which time Lester Holt, serving as moderator, will not be able to break away from the action on stage.
Throughout her campaign, Clinton has been forced to deal with extreme bouts of coughing.
As early as January, while speaking at the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, Clinton had a coughing fit and immediately grabbed a glass of water and a cough drop, which she had nearby. She then asked someone to address the people while she left the stage to try to get her coughing under control.
In February she suffered a similar incident while in New York speaking at the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture.
The episode was so severe she was forced to stop speaking and go for the water and a cough drop.
On Labor Day, Clinton suffered from not one episode, but two.
The first occurred at a campaign rally in Cleveland, where the usual water and cough drop did little to alleviate the coughing.
In an effort to play off the incident, Clinton said, “I’ve been talking so much. Every time I think about Trump, I get allergic.”
The second occurred later in the day while she was speaking to reporters on her campaign’s plane. The coughing episode required her to cut short her time speaking to the media.
Clinton was diagnosed with pneumonia Sept. 9.
Projections suggest nearly 100 million people will tune in for Monday’s presidential debate, which is not only Super Bowl-type viewership but it would also be a record for a debate. The previous record was a 1980 debate between President Jimmy Carter and Republican nominee Ronald Reagan, which drew an audience of 80 million.
By comparison, the record viewership for a Super Bowl is 115 million, set in 2015.
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