Aside from getting a taste of what each GOP candidate would bring to the table if elected president, the biggest takeaway from the first Republican presidential debate was the power of its moderators. Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly provoked the strongest response in a candidate when she asked Donald Trump about his frequently sexist public feuds. Trump's subsequent answer and his thoughts about Kelly has kept an entirely separate debate raging for weeks, proving that she's a journalistic force to be reckoned with. With just days until the next big event, many are wondering: Is Megyn Kelly hosting the next GOP debate?
Rather than asking more hard-hitting questions at the Ronald Reagan Library on Wednesday, Kelly will be watching from afar. Instead, CNN State of the Union host Jake Tapper will assume moderator duties, along with CNN correspondent Dana Bash and Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt.
The GOP debate is already showing signs of similarities to its preceding event. As with last month's debate, Trump appears to be feuding with one of the hosts. The verbal sparring has come before the debate itself, however. It was an appearance that the GOP front-runner made on Hewitt's radio show that first kicked things off.
The feud has to do with Hewitt testing Trump's foreign policy knowledge. This follows a similar line of questioning Hewitt has engaged in when hosting other GOP presidential candidates like Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina. Likewise, international affairs were touched upon during the first GOP debate, specifically combating terrorism as well as national security. Kelly's question to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie about bulk data collection prompted a heated debate between Christie and fellow candidate Rand Paul. Her next question to Ted Cruz about defeating ISIS proved to be one of the most informative moments of the night.
The CNN team is undoubtedly focused on highlighting similar issues. In an interview on CNN's Reliable Sources, Tapper had this to say about how they've been preparing for the debate:
What the team and I have been doing is trying to craft questions that, in most cases, pit candidates against the other, specific candidates on the stage, on issues where they disagree, whether it's policy or politics or leadership. Let's actually have them discuss and debate.
Hewitt, Tapper, and Bash will all make their debate hosting debuts on Wednesday. Tapper is the only moderator to host both the primetime and the earlier debate, the latter of which will feature the bottom four Republican candidates.