Elaine Quijano's Politics Won't Ruin The Debate

by Bronwyn Isaac

Next Tuesday evening, Oct. 4, marks the one and only vice presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle. Sure, you're clearly pumped to watch Mike Pence and Tim Kaine duke it out, even if they're both noticeably less, shall we say, colorful than other recent vice presidential debaters, like Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. That may be why people are not just eager to see the potential veeps, but also the moderators, and many are wondering: Is the debate moderator Elaine Quijano a Democrat?

At only 42 years old, Quijano is the youngest national debate moderator since 1988, when Judy Woodruff moderated at 41-years-old. She will be the first Asian-American to moderate a debate in the U.S. presidential election. On top of her role as an anchor at CBS Weekend News, Quijano also serves as a weekday anchor for the 24-hour streaming news source CBSN, and has covered topics as deep and varied as the Sept. 11 attacks and the Sandy Hook shooting. When Quijano was named the moderator for the vice presidential debate, CBS New President David Rhodes praised her, saying:

Her perspective, dedication to political reporting, and important role on CBS News’s live-streaming platform make her an ideal choice to lead the only vice presidential debate this fall.

While her qualifications for the position of debate moderator are indisputable, the question still stands: Is Quijano registered as a Democrat or Republican? All of the presidential debate moderators are carefully chosen by the Commission for Presidential Debates based on outstanding reporting abilities and lack of reporting bias.

However, following a Time report revealing that the moderator of the first presidential debate, Lester Holt was registered as a Republican, it's natural for people to speculate on the possible internal leanings of Quijano's politics. Thus far, no report indicates which party Quijano is affiliated with, if in fact she is registered with one.

While people may speculate about her party preferences, when Quijano takes the stage at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia on Tuesday, I have every faith she won't let politics get in the way of a good debate.

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