Martha Raddatz Is Not Afraid To Grill Candidates

by Bronwyn Isaac

As we approach the second presidential debate, which will take place on Sunday, Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, the pressure is on for the debate moderators, Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz. The town-hall style debate will require both moderators to facilitate questions from the audience while still managing the candidates themselves, which will require extra finesse from both moderators. Has Raddatz moderated presidential debates in the past?

Unlike her colleague, the spitfire Raddatz has moderated general election debates before, perhaps most notably in 2012 when she moderated the vice presidential debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan. That was a debate, which many claimed Raddatz won due to her ability to interject with concise questions amid tangents from the candidates. More than on either candidate, much of the praise focused on Raddatz and her knowledge of foreign policy. Conversely, the second presidential debate will be Cooper's first time moderating in the general election, although Cooper has experience moderating debates during the primaries.

Given her experience in 2012, it's reasonable to speculate that Raddatz' past experiences as a moderator will inform her moderating style when faced with the presidential candidates Trump and Clinton. Will Raddatz' history of moderating debates bolster the efficiency of Sunday's presidential debate?

While her moderation of the 2012 vice presidential debate may be the most talked about, the ABC World News Tonight chief global affairs correspondent also moderated a Democratic debate in the primaries in December alongside ABC World News Tonight co-host David Muir. During the Democratic primary debate, Raddatz effectively kept the candidates challenged and on track. At one point, she demanded Clinton "stick to gun control" during a tangent about ISIS. Her ability to get both Clinton and Sanders to address the actual questions had pockets of the internet impressed.

Following the Democratic debate in December, Raddatz and Muir went on to co-moderate a Republican primary debate in February in New Hampshire, during which Raddatz questioned Trump about his past statements on ISIS:

You have said you will vigorously bomb ISIS. You've said, "We've got to get rid of ISIS, quickly, quickly." How would you get rid of them so quickly? And please give us specifics.

Her career history makes it clear that Raddatz posses a thorough knowledge of foreign policy, which comes from her combined background as a global affairs correspondent for ABC and a former White House correspondent during the second term of the George W. Bush administration. How exactly will Raddatz experience both with global politics and our current presidential candidates play into the debate on Sunday? That we will have to wait and see.