The debates were created as a way for the candidates to display their views on certain issues in America. The debates act as a educational tool for voters, instead of citizens just paying attention to the mainstream media. The debates between Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain focused on economy as the main focal point, but also foreign affairs, education, energy, the environment, and healthcare reform.
The debates have been planned for a long time as part of the Presidential election process. Television debates have a long history, going back to the Kennedy-Nixon debate in 1960. However, the first debate was memorable because it came in the middle of a financial crisis in America which some have called the worst since the Great Depression. Congress and the President are trying to work out a plan that will help save many companies from going bankrupt because their money is tied up in bad debt in the mortgage market. McCain and Obama had originally planned to debate foreign policy only, but the financial crisis was something both candidates realized they had to address because of the current crisis. So, they addressed the financial crisis first and then debated foreign policy.