While PBS' Jim Lehrer drew criticism for his lack of control on the first presidential debate, Vice-presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz is getting more praise from her peers for being more assertive.
"Martha Raddatz of ABC News didn’t ask puffy questions like Jim Lehrer did at the presidential debate, or let the candidates get away with vague non-answers, as Jim Lehrer did," observed Andrew Rosenthal at The New York Times. "Ms. Raddatz acted like a working journalist instead of a television personality."
Raddatz has had a lengthy and distinguished career in news, working as a Pentagon correspondent for National Public Radio and war correspondent for ABC News. She has experience in matters of foreign policy, defense, and intelligence issues, experience which came in handy while trying to control the often unruly, spirited debate.
"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," ABC network said in a prepared statement prior to the debates.
Of course, some criticism is to be expected. Breibart News Editor-at-Large John Nolte was appalled by Raddatz's moderation skills, saying on Twitter: "Horrible Moderator: Martha Raddatz Interrupts Ryan Constantly, Asks Stupid Questions."
Personally speaking, I preferred Raddatz's more pointed, focused questioning to Lehrer's vague "Taxes -- good or bad? GO!" I appreciate a debate that doesn't necessarily adhere to the 'two minutes for you, one minute for you' set of arbitrary rules -- a spirited debate should allow for an actual exchange between the candidates that might not necessarily fall within those rules. Raddatz allowed for interruptions from each candidate and really only asserted herself when the two talked over one another.
What did you think of last night's debate?