For the first time since 1992, a female news anchor will moderate one of the three United States presidential debates. In a story originally broken by the Drudge Report and reported on Politico, the Commission on Presidential Debates has confirmed that Candy Crowley of CNN's State of the Union will host the second debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on October 16. The only caveat is that it will be a "town hall" debate featuring questions from undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization, although Crowley will have an opportunity to lead a brief discussion after each candidate gives his response. The other two debates, hosted by men, will have the moderators decide the topics and questions.
PBS Newshour's Jim Lehrer will handle the first meeting on October 3, and Bob Schieffer of CBS will finish up with the final debate on October 22. In between, another woman—Martha Raddatz, ABC News Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent—will tackle the vice-presidential debate between Paul Ryan and current VP Joe Biden on October 11.
Crowley's selection is being seen as a victory for three high school students from New Jersey who had launched a campaign on Change.org urging the Commission to choose a female moderator for one of the debates. They also circulated a petition that garnered over 180,000 signatures, including New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and other high-profile names. The last woman to host a debate was ABC's Carole Simpson when she questioned President George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot two decades ago.
Do you think the selection of a female moderator is a big deal? Will it effect your decision to watch this particular debate?