CNN's Candy Crowley Will Moderate Presidential Debate -- It's About Time!
In a stunning about-face, the Commission on Presidential Debates on Elections announced that we will indeed have a female moderator for the presidential debates. And the choice of Candy Crowley , the host of CNN’s Sunday morning news show, State of the Union, couldn’t be better. As such, Crowley will be the first woman in 20 years to helm a presidential debate. I’ve long admired Crowley’s tough but fair interviewing style. So it’s a shame she won’t be able to display her skill. The debate on Oct.18 will be a town-hall format, so she’ll essentially be directing traffic and wrangling the audience.
Crowley won’t be the only female presence at the debates. Martha Raddatz, the senior foreign correspondent for ABC , will be moderating the vice-presidential debate. She’s also a terrific choice, and I hope she’ll ask GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan some hard questions about his foreign policy chops.
So what's behind the abrupt change? The commission didn’t say, but I have to give kudos to the three New Jersey teenage girls whose online petition, “It’s Time for a Female Moderator,” drew more than 120,000 signatures and rallied national attention around the issue. As I wrote on BlogHer two days ago, the teens just couldn’t understand why there hadn’t been a female moderator of a presidential debate since Carole Simpson played the role in 1992.
Just so one thinks I'm being being sexist, there will be two male moderators, PBS’s Jim Lehrer and CBS’s Bob Scheiffer. They're pretty capable, too.