Is Elaine Quijano Married? The Highly Qualified Debate Moderator's Relationship Status Doesn't Matter
Before Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump debate each other again, the vice presidential candidates will meet for their own forum. The moderator of the first presidential debate, Lester Holt, was alternatively praised and criticized for his handling of the event, and the moderator of the VP debate is already being scrutinized ahead of the event. And some are asking the wrong question — namely, is Elaine Quijano married?
Well, the answer to that question doesn't really matter. Whether or not Quijano is married has absolutely no bearing on her ability to be a good debate moderator. Her job is to ask incisive and fair questions of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence. Her relationship status is completely irrelevant insofar as the debate is concerned.
What matters a lot more is that there are no Hispanic moderators overseeing any of this year’s debates. This immediately caused controversy when the debate moderators were announced. Given the outsized role that Hispanic immigration has played in this campaign, not to mention the large Hispanic voting populace in the U.S., you might think that at least one presidential debate would be moderated by an Hispanic journalist.
“Simply put: It’s an abdication of your responsibility to represent and reflect one of the largest and most influential communities of the U.S.,” wrote Randy Falco, the president of Univision, after the moderator’s lineup was announced. “Since 1980, no candidate for President of the United States has has won without at least 30 percent of the Latino vote. We ask again for you to reconsider leaving a Spanish-language moderator out of the presidential debate panels.”
Another thing that’s more relevant than Quijano’s marital status is her qualifications as a journalist, and she’s eminently qualified to oversee the vice presidential forum. Since joining CBS News in 2010, she’s reported on the Boston Marathon bombing, Superstorm Sandy, and the 2014 World Cup, and her team received an Alfred I. du Pont Award for its coverage of the 2012 massacre in Newtown. She was at CNN before that, where she covered the September 11 attacks and various aspects of domestic and foreign policy.
Of course, nobody really knows how a moderator is going to approach a debate until the debate itself. In this election in particular, there’s been an increased focus on fact-checking, and whether or not it’s the job of a moderator to fact-check candidates in real time. How Quijano chooses to approach this and other aspects of the vice presidential debate is a mystery. We won’t know until October 4, when the Kaine-Pence forum takes place.
Nevertheless, one thing should be obvious: In an election as surreal and terrifying as this one, Quijano’s relationship status is just about one of the least important questions to ask.
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