I’m looking forward to the second of the two scheduled Presidential debates. At this point pretty much everyone knows that during the first debate President Obama was not on his game, Mitt Romney was, and poor Jim Lehrer was miserable at trying to contain the candidates.
I am excited to see that Candy Crowley, CNN’s political correspondent, will be moderating. First, it’s been since 1992 that a woman had the opportunity. Second, she’ll be far tougher on the candidates–in fact she’s taking heat because her contract states that she will get more air time than a moderator might usually get, including the opportunity to ask follow up questions. That’s right–follow up questions.
In an interview with USA TODAY last week, Crowley said she will call on audience members based on the questions they submit in advance of the debate, and that she will then ask a followup, or “drill-down” question. She also said that if news occurs Tuesday — after debate questions have been submitted — she may ask candidates to respond. “Do I feel a journalistic responsibility to fill a hole if there is one? I do.”
The web is buzzing with debate about whether Crowley, a seasoned and respected journalist, should be able to moderate because she is asking to do her job the right way. If the campaigns don’t want follow-up questions, why ask a journalist to moderate? Just hire a celebrity. It would probably boost ratings in this celebrity-obsessed culture of ours.