To get a firsthand account of what happened, Oprah talks to the woman at the center of the event—moderator Gwen Ifill, a veteran journalist from PBS's The NewsHour and Washington Week. "It was kind of exciting, wasn't it? A lot of buildup, a lot of drama. And in the end, they both held their own," Gwen says. "I'm feeling relieved, mostly, that it's all over."
One element of the predebate drama was a medical rumor circulating on the Internet. "You know, it's one of those rumors that actually turns out to be true!" Gwen says.
She explains that she was preparing for the debate at home, reading everything she could find about both candidates. "I had left a biography of Sarah Palin and a biography of Joe Biden on the stairs. You know the way you do, thinking, 'I'll grab it on the way down'?" she says. "Except I forgot they were there. Bam! I went down. Broke an ankle. ... I played hurt last night."
Gwen ended up moderating the debate with a splint on her broken ankle and her leg elevated, but says she wasn't in pain during the debate. "I've decided adrenaline is better than drugs," she says. "I felt no pain whatsoever last night once the debate began." Gwen says she is scheduled to have surgery on Monday.