Black Girl Magic is the cheat code!
Kristen Welker just made history as the first Black woman to moderate a presidential debate solo since 1992, Newsweek reports.
In September, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that Welker would moderate the second and final debate between the two candidates. This selection made her the first Black women to moderate a presidential debate alone since ABC News’ Carole Simpson in 1992. She follows in the footsteps of her mentor, the late Gwen Ifill who handled the vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008.
However, this isn’t her first time up at the moderator podium. In November 2019, Welker co-moderated the fifth Democratic debate in Atlanta with Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, and Ashley Parker. At the time they were asking the Democratic candidate hopefuls — Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Cory Booker — about their views on the major issues.
#Reminder: Only two black women have ever hosted a general election presidential debate.
Carol Simpson (1992) and Kristen Welker (2020). Wild to believe that there’s a whole generation of voters (millennial and Gen-Z) who weren’t alive during the 92′ town hall. #debates #Debate pic.twitter.com/bzFiIqyOy6
— Beatrice-Elizabeth Peterson (@MissBeaE) October 23, 2020advertisement
Welker is a Philadelphia native, Harvard graduate, and co-anchor of NBC’s Weekend Today. Since 2011, she has served as a White House correspondent, previously working as an NBC correspondent in California. Welker has an impressive resume when it comes to political coverage. She reported on the Obama administration, heavily documenting Biden’s time as vice president. She also covered Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign and has investigated the current administration.
I’m beaming watching Kristen Welker. Such an amazing moment for her and for all who know of her hard work and dedication to journalism. Go girl!
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 23, 2020
Walking into an onslaught of publicity and unnecessarily harsh criticism from the sitting president, Welker had her work cut out for, especially given the heated nature of the last debate. However, the 44-year-old journalist held her own, guiding the conversation in a way that was firm but graceful with The New York Times calling her moderation a “poised and crisp performance.”
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 23, 2020
Welker’s six debate topics touched on several pertinent issues, including; fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security, and leadership, Vox reports. While this was her first time moderating a presidential debate, based on the rave reviews and ability to bring order in a way that resonated with viewers, it doesn’t look like it will be her last!
You gave the people the debate we’ve deserved! Congratulations, Kristen!
Photo Courtesy of The New York Times