Green Room

Barack Obama was cordially invited to Martha Raddatz’s wedding

posted at 10:43 pm on October 10, 2012 by

As the Vice Presidential debate approaches, you would think there would be zero chances that this debate would have a moderator with a conflict on interest a la Gwen Ifill in 2008.  Well, that’s not that case – again.  With ABC News’ Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz selected to moderate the 2012 Vice Presidential debate, it should be noted that Obama attended her wedding back in 1991 and her now ex-husband, Julius Genachowski, was picked by Obama to chair the Federal Communications Commission. Obama and Genachowski, besides being classmates at Harvard Law,were also members of the Harvard Law Review.

The Daily Caller’s Josh Peterson reported on this development early yesterday morning and wrote about the preliminary steps to ascertain the truth about this story.  ABC, on the other hand, went into panic mode and leaked “a pre-empitve statement” to liberal outlets, like Politico and The Daily Beast, “revealing what may have been internal network pressure felt just days before Raddatz was scheduled to moderate the one and only vice-presidential debate Thursday night.”  Peterson also reported that:

Genachowski — called “Jay” at the time of his wedding, sources told TheDC — and Raddatz would go on to have a son together before their divorce in 1997…a source who attended the 1991 wedding told TheDC that Obama was also a guest there, and remembered that a man by the name of “Barry Obama” was among the guests dancing at the reception. (RELATED: Marital, personal ties link Obama administration to Commission on Presidential Debates)

In August The Daily Caller first connected Genachowski, an Obama appointee, to Raddatz following her selection as the vice presidential debate moderator by the left-leaning Commission on Presidential Debates. That debate, between Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden, will take place Thursday night at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.


Genachowski’s friendship with Obama would continue through the campaign trail in 2008 and into the White House: He aggressively fundraised for Obama in 2008 as a campaign bundler, and served on the presidential transition team before winning his appointment to chair the FCC.

As ABC News tried to bury the story and even circled the wagons around Raddatz, it was a futile exercise and released this statement, which can be seen on Dylan Byers’ blog.

Martha Raddatz is known for her tough, fair reporting, which is why it was no surprise to her colleagues inside and outside ABC News that she was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates for this assignment. Barack Obama was a law school classmate of Raddatz’s ex-husband Julius Genachowski at Harvard. At the time Barack Obama was a student and president of the Law Review. He attended their wedding over two decades ago along with nearly the entire Law Review, many of whom went onto successful careers including some in the Bush administration. Raddatz and Mr. Genachowski divorced in 1997 and both are now remarried.

Nevertheless, Raddatz is preparing for the debate and her friends say that “she’s ready for primetime,” according to Michael Calderone at Huffington Post (because they’re never biased).

“There’s not going to be an empty chair there,” said Philip Bennett, managing editor of Frontline and a family friend for more than 15 years. “Her ability to engage seriously, directly, and honestly on these issues is really unmatched in the world of people who’d feel comfortable going on television before millions of people and forcing a genuine conversation and discussion to take place.”

Bennett said Raddatz is skilled in deep listening and empathy, while also possessing a “steely-eyed, no-nonsense approach to complex issues.”


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Weren’t there republicans on the committee that chose the debate moderator? Did no one object?
Yet the dems objected to a debate on Fox because it was too biased? What a system!

hopeful on October 10, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Why exactly does the Moderator need to be engaged on the issues? Are we voting her into office?

Man: politics is confusing!

SpikeRHSC on October 11, 2012 at 12:03 AM

The problem for Raddatz vs. Ifill is that Gwen’s job in clearing a path for Obama was a lot easier, because he was a blank slate the media had no intention on doing background checks on during the campaign, while McCain was forced to be not only his own campaign’s standard-bearer, but also the surrogate for everything Ifill and others in the media hated about George W. Bush. Add in the financial situation of the time and it was easy to focus the tough questions away from Obama and not make it obvious to the viewers she wasn’t just for the guy, but had a financial interest in his success via her soon-to-be-published book.

Raddatz can’t do that. If she were to start guiding the debate away from the current administrations actions and hones in on Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plans or lack of foreign policy experience, Ryan shouldn’t have much trouble directing the focus back at Obama and Biden and their four years in office. Martha would have to go into Chris Crocker “Leave Brittany Joe Alone!” mode to totally protect Biden from himself and his boss’ record, and she’s not going to embarrass herself for that (if there’s any slanting, my guess is it will be in the Town Hall debate, if some non-undecided ‘undecided’ voters end up among those asking questions and get to hit Romney with 1-2 of the things the left is mad at Obama and Jim Lehrer not asking last Wednesday).

jon1979 on October 11, 2012 at 12:56 AM

Its mean to say, but this woman is not very attractive, I guess I am just used to watching Fox News.

Fleuries on October 11, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Here is her work, she is a foreign correspondent.

Fleuries on October 11, 2012 at 11:09 AM