On Thursday (Oct. 22), the nation tuned in hesitantly and unsure of what to expect of the second and final 2020 Presidential Debate after Donald Trump‘s embarrassing and abysmal performance and the first debate last month.
In a high-stakes debut overseeing a presidential debate where Joe Biden and Trump faced off of for the final time before the election — taking charge of a candidate matchup that proved a bucking bronco for the previous moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News — Ms. Welker, an NBC anchor, and correspondent, managed to restore order to a quadrennial institution that some believed could not be tamed.
Opening the debates with a clear set of rules and ensuring both candidates understood, Welker, the first Black woman to moderate a general-election presidential debate since Carole Simpson of ABC in 1992, proved that tackling Trump’s overtly machismo and abrasive attitude was no problem, even after entering the evening facing an onslaught of attacks from Trump, who this week called her “terrible.”
Despite the blatant bias from the Trump administration in regards to her placement, Welker remained professional and poised as she guided the discussion, offering chances for brief rebuttals but also taking control when the candidates threatened to go on a tirade repeatedly keeping them on course with a reminder on time, “We need to move on.”
But many pointed out her ability to stop the spread of misinformation and at times blatant lies by Trump that helped many undecided voters actually and finally hear the plans (or lack thereof) that each candidate has listed as the foundation of their candidacy.
When asked his opinion immediately following the debate regarding the stark difference between last night’s debate Kristen Welker moderated and the last month’s disaster, veteran moderator Chris Wallace revealed he was a little “jealous” that he wasn’t allowed the same opportunity by the Trump administration.
“First of all, I’m jealous,” Mr. Wallace said. “I would have liked to be able to moderate that debate.”