Elaine Quijano Is Set To Moderate The VP Debates

by Maya Parthasarathy

Every debate needs its moderator, and with another debate coming up on Tuesday, many are wondering: Who is the vice presidential debate moderator? There's been plenty of controversy over debate moderators this election cycle: squabbles over whether a moderator has biases à la Donald Trump and Lester Holt, and upcoming moderator Chris Wallace saying he will not fact-check during the debate. Will the vice presidential debate moderator break this cycle?

CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano will be moderating Tuesday's debate. Quijano is also an anchor for CBS Weekend News, as well as a correspondent for CBS News, and she frequently appears on CBS This Morning and CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. She covers both breaking news and human interest stories. Before working at CBS, Quijano was a White House correspondent for CNN, and she covered both the administrations of President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like she's escaped controversy. A headline after she was announced as a debate moderator called her an "advocate for illegal aliens" because she did a few profiles on undocumented United States residents. The headline came from Frontpage Magazine, which, to be fair, is quite open about its right-wing leaning, with the tagline, "Inside every liberal is a totalitarian screaming to get out." Still, neither of the candidates has put out a statement about her so far.

Quijano will have complete control over the questions she poses to Democratic Senator Tim Kaine and Republican Governor Mike Pence on Oct. 4. Her experience covering Washington, D.C. politics, as well as presidents and vice presidents, may impact the types of questions she asks and how she deals with the candidates.

“It’s an honor to be chosen to help bring the issues of this critical election to the public,” Quijano told CBS.

Quijano who is based in New York, is Filipino-American, and at 42, the youngest moderator since 1988, according to Variety. She is also the first Asian-American to moderate a national debate and the first digital network anchor to do so as well.

The only vice presidential debate will take place on Oct. 4 from 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. It will be streaming on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and several major networks.