The obligatory “presidential debate moderators pretty much who you’d expect” post

posted at 4:01 pm on August 13, 2012 by Allahpundit

First question from Candy Crowley: “Governor Romney, did you choose Paul Ryan because you have a death wish?”

PBS’s Jim Lehrer will host the first presidential debate on Oct. 3 in Denver, Colo. CNN’s Candy Crowley will host the second, town-hall debate on October 16 in Hempstead, N.Y. CBS’s Bob Schieffer will host the third debate on Oct. 22 in Boca Raton, Fla.

ABC’s Martha Raddatz will host the vice presidential debate on Oct. 11 in Danville, Ky.

Crowley’s the first woman moderator of a presidential debate in 20 years, an odd lapse given the prominence of Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, and Katie Couric. (Walters moderated the first Reagan/Mondale debate in ’84, in fact.) If you’re wondering why no Brit Hume or Megyn Kelly instead, bear in mind that the debate commission needs both campaigns to agree to the moderators. The One’s simply not going to accept a Foxie — not even Bret Baier — unless Romney agrees to an overtly liberal moderator at another debate, and there’s simply no one in the MSNBC afternoon/evening line-up who’d be as remotely as evenhanded as Hume, Kelly, or Baier would be. Even if there was, what incentive does either candidate have to roll the dice on a risky pick? Come October, every syllable out of their mouths will be tightly scripted for maximum impact. The last thing they want is an X factor asking questions.

Interesting footnote: A quick check of the debate website reveals that not only has no MSNBCer ever hosted a debate, only once in the past 25 years has someone from NBC News been tapped to do so. That was Brokaw in 2008; Russert, David Gregory, and Brian Williams have all been shut out. The moderators typically come from a mix of CBS, ABC, PBS (Lehrer is a staple at these things), and occasionally CNN (Bernard Shaw moderated at least once). That’s exactly what we’re getting this year, which suggests that these things are governed by institutional inertia more than anything else. They’ve got a formula, they’re sticking with it, and the campaigns seem okay with it. Again, I think their top priority is not being taken by surprise, and these four seem unlikely to do that. Think back on all the debates you’ve watched since, say, 2000. What’s the most dramatic/memorable/unpredictable moment? Al Gore sighing? QED.

One other point worth flagging now. Martha Raddatz, who’ll be moderating the Ryan/Biden debate, is ABC’s chief foreign correspondent, which makes me wonder if the questions will be geared a bit more towards foreign policy than they might have been with a different moderator. That’s golden for Biden, if so: Not only is Ryan’s experience in that area thin, it’s a perfect invitation for Greasy Joe to spike the ball and do an end-zone dance over Bin Laden. Exit question: Will the VP debate draw more viewers than any of the presidential debates? It did four years ago.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

The only thing I can say is, What. The. Hell?

The President wants his golden words to be heard, force him to accept one non-ultra-liberal debate.

Speakup on August 13, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Will Ryan be expected to explain the Obama Doctrine?

onlineanalyst on August 13, 2012 at 7:34 PM

“Mr. Ryan, please tell us the name of <leader of some obscure 3rd world country)."

The only domestic issues to be discussed will be social issues, aka contraception and abortion. Throw in a few defense/war issues and foreign affairs and you have exceeded the time limit of the debate.

The debates, all of them, are nothing to look forward to. We will all be disgusted in October when the election slips away from us.

Carnac on August 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Ed Morrissey · Works at Salem Web Network
We’re hoping to have both our current comment system and FB. Trying it out on headlines first to see if it’s possible.

Obviously it’s possible, and obviously this is the way they want to go. So be it. I’m done with HotAir as a poster AND reader after this post. So sorry to dump HA, but fascism is fascism, I don’t give a f*ck what side of the isle implements it.

Now, on to search for a new site to gather news topics in.

I enjoyed you guys immensely. Maybe I’ll see y’all around, or maybe I’ll come back if they abandoned this FUBAR idea.

Wolfmoon on August 13, 2012 at 7:42 PM

“The Usual Suspects” as I call em. Would be nice to have conservative moderators that so biased they work for the Obama campaign. The guys from hot air would be nice or Michelle Malkin.

maddmatt on August 13, 2012 at 7:44 PM

First question from Candy Crowley: “Governor Romney, did you choose Paul Ryan because you have a death wish?”

Gov Romney: “Candy, clearly I misquoted. I didn’t say it was a death wish. I said I had a “death dish“. You see, the truth is I’m a death eater. Which, while making for amusing parlor conversation, requires me to consume death fairly regularly.

Which is, of course, why I am in the habit of routinely giving people cancer. Mitt Romney gotta eat too.”

JohnGalt23 on August 13, 2012 at 7:47 PM

How is Crowley the first women moderator in presidential debates in 20 years, wasn’t there that black woman from NPR or CSPAN that moderated last presidential election debate too, and people were screaming about a huge conflict of interest, as she had a book on Obama to be published soon after the elections…can’t be botered with looking up her name, she was an idiot anyways….

jimver on August 13, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Did you say we are going to FB???? Sorry, grow up and just try for some serious maturity. Go to face book and you lose the particularly unique quality of this entire site as was set by MM. So, drop that foolish idea or at least for me it is : Buh bye…..

highninside on August 13, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Candy Crowley? Candy? Really? Trixie Norton would add more dignity to the proceedings. Smarter too.

curved space on August 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Here’s the obligatory politics interfering with NFL warning:

VEEP debate is on Thursday (10/11/12) up against Steelers v Titans on Thurs Night Football

Final PREZ debate is on Monday (10/22/12) up against Lions v Bears on MNF

stukinIL4now on August 13, 2012 at 9:51 PM

How is Crowley the first women moderator in presidential debates in 20 years, wasn’t there that black woman from NPR or CSPAN that moderated last presidential election debate too, and people were screaming about a huge conflict of interest, as she had a book on Obama to be published soon after the elections…can’t be botered with looking up her name, she was an idiot anyways….

jimver on August 13, 2012 at 7:50 PM

You are thinking of Gwen Ifill. Since October 1999, Ifill has been the moderator of the PBS program Washington Week in Review. She is also a senior correspondent for the PBS NewsHour.

On October 5, 2004, Ifill moderated the vice-presidential debate between Republican Dick Cheney and Democrat John Edwards. Ifill also moderated the October 2, 2008, vice-presidential debate between Democratic Senator Joe Biden and Republican Governor Sarah Palin at Washington University in St. Louis.

Candy Crowley, apparently, will be the first female to moderate one of the presidential debates.

RedPepper on August 13, 2012 at 10:05 PM

GO NEWT ON THEIR BUTTCRACKS!

TX-96 on August 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Addenda: first woman moderator in the last 20 years, that is, as noted above by Allahpundit.

RedPepper on August 13, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Again, scraping the bottom of the barrel to dredge up these liberal relics. Most of them should have retired long ago- surprised Helen Thomas isn’t on the list. I’d replace them with Brit Hume, Jake Tapper, Sean Hannity, and Megan Kelley. Much more lively, invigorating than those old gas-bags.

USN Corpseman on August 14, 2012 at 2:57 AM

yeah, really, facebook? have watched these young turks basterdize michelles ideal website to the point that 50% of the time i wonder to myself if allah and ed aren’t just stealth progressives in sheeps clothing. won’t EVER do the leftist mind control FB thing and you can’t make me, change and you’ve lost me also. as to the moderators all being communist progressive a-holes, well, what did you expect. it has taken 100 years for these people to get hold of the gov’t, and they won’t lose their power at the whim of a vote. rush, sean, michelle, and levin, especially not megan who apparently is all for anal marriage. better continue the 2010 movement or we will see all business nationalized and blue helmets in our streets. if we don’t fix this, i hope we all don’t meet in the reeducation camps in wyoming.

tm11999 on August 14, 2012 at 7:47 AM

The questions write themselves.

I am not sure what the game is here. Are we banking on the fact that nobody trusts the media in this country anymore? Is the objective to expose their dishonesty, a la Gingrich, by calling them out when unfair partisan questions are hurled at the Republican candidate? That seems to be a very big gamble.

Most thinking people can already predict the MSM will try to promote Mr. Obama and belittle Mr. Romney. There is absolutely no room to recover with a debate moderator we know will be honest, truthful and fair.

Marcus Traianus on August 14, 2012 at 9:02 AM

I was thoroughly disgusted when TH started the FB teeny-bopper crap.

Now THIS?

What’s next? Twitter only?

I’m out.

Nana on August 14, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I don’t understand why Republicans let Democrats frame the issues all of the time. It makes no sense.

Who is responsible for this idiocy? What can we do about it?

Mycroft on August 14, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3