Candy Crowley will be the first woman to moderate a presidential debate in 20 years

USA Today | CNN | Commission on Presidential Debates

CNN's Candy Crowley will moderate one of this fall's presidential debates. The three New Jersey teens who've been campaigning for the Commission on Presidential Debates to name a woman moderator for the first time in 20 years are smiling this morning.

Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis collected more than 180,000 signatures on their petition for a female moderator. In a press release, they responded to the announcement:

“What a huge victory for women, for equal representation, and for the more than 180,000 people who stood with us and demanded a female presidential debate moderator,” said Sammi Siegel. “We are thrilled that the Commission on Presidential Debates is ending their 20-year drought on women moderators. It is long past due to have a woman on the same stage as the men running for president.” ...

“Through this campaign, millions of Americans learned that two decades passed without a woman moderating a U.S. presidential debate,” said Emma Axelrod. “We are so proud to have helped educate Americans on this issue, and are extremely happy that women and girls watching the debates this year will see a potential role model up on the stage moderating.” ...

“Having the support of people like Carole Simpson, Sen. Gillibrand, and Rep. Maloney -- powerful women who are heroes to many -- underscored for us how important this campaign was to wage,” said Elena Tsemberis. “This campaign wasn’t about partisan politics, or liberal or conservative issues. This was about equal representation, regardless of political party. When Candy Crowley takes the stage to moderate the debate between Obama and Romney, it will be a victory for all Americans.”

The other presidential debate moderators are "NewsHour"'s Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer, anchor of "Face the Nation." ABC's Martha Raddatz will moderate the vice presidential debate.

Now on to the next problem: Why does the presidential debate commission only allow one kind of diversity in its moderators? asks Eric Deggans.

Previously: Teens push for female debate moderator as female journalists quietly root for their success | Presidential debates honcho: ‘Very hard to find’ good moderatorsSecurity turns away high schoolers petitioning for female debate moderators | High school students petition Presidential Debate Commission, demand female moderator

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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