Moderator Raddatz Shows How It's Done
ABC correspondent wins wide praise
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2012 4:52 AM CDT
Martha Raddatz greets Paul Ryan at the start of the vice presidential debate last night.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – As with the Obama-Romney debate, a lot of the post-Biden-Ryan debate talk is focusing on the moderator—but this time they're saying nice things. Martha Raddatz, senior foreign affairs correspondent for ABC, "pursued each man with the vigor of a woman more accustomed to needling foreign leaders than reciting prompter text," writes Dan Zak at the Washington Post. Unlike Jim Lehrer, whose moderating was widely panned, Raddatz was assertive and asked tough follow-up questions, writes Adam Martin at New York, declaring her the real winner of the debate.

Raddatz was seen as an odd choice, but her performance "should be the gold standard for future moderators," writes Josh Feldman at Mediaite. "She grilled the candidates just enough on their positions to spur them on, but struck a good balance in when she interrupted both men." A Ryan spokesman says "she was clearly more assertive," although the resulting answers were "no more disciplined," reports BuzzFeed. But not everybody was happy with Raddatz's moderating. "I miss Jim Lehrer" tweeted Karl Rove.

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Showing 3 of 51 comments
LarryG
Oct 13, 2012 5:43 AM CDT
Superb job----she asked the tuff questions, had the candidates talking to each other which is what a debate is all about,,,,
jsehgal
Oct 12, 2012 8:05 PM CDT
A debate is first about topics, second about the participants and third about the moderater. While Martha Raddatz did well with her questions, she flunked out in reigning in Ryan when he time and again consumed vastly more time than was allotted to him and then turned around and did not let Biden anywhere close to the amount of time Ryan had used up. This was a major flaw and she flunked badly. According to a poll conducted by CBC, Biden did very well at 88%, Ryan was at 10% with 2% undecided.
LoginsSuck
Oct 12, 2012 2:08 PM CDT
I forgot to record this, so I just went and read the transcript and then the fact check site. So my opinions are not formed based on gender, facial expressions or visual cues. Just the words I read. I felt both were able to promote their views very well. The moderation was excellent. Probing for further details when needed, asking follow up questions to call out lies and misrepresentations on both sides and to get more than the campaign lines out of them. Just happens one side needed it more than the other. Not her fault. Overall, I also felt that Ryan tried to lie his way around answers, lied to portray his opponents as badly as he could, changed views on issues from the past few months, and never was able to produce details when pressed as to how he would accomplish their plans. BIden was allowed to respond to take advantage of that and answer to the truth. In turn when Biden flubbed his info, Ryan was allowed to respond as well. Raddatz can't help that Biden needed to be responded to less, due to being more accurate and less disingenuous attacking. Ryan left out specifics in every answer. Important details. I got the feeling he and Romney are working on the "just trust us, we know best" theories. I also think they are very quick to be aggressive on foreign policy, unnecessarily aggressive. To the point that we will be in another war because of someones big mouth, puffed up chest and inconsolable ego. When pressed on how they would have handled Syria differently, he couldn't or wouldn't come up with details except to say they would have been more successful. Well I can promise the same without having to back it up either. I don't think they know the meaning of diplomacy or understand the intricate workings of diplomacy in the world. Ryan/Romney also are making more out of the Iran and sanctions/weapons situation than there is there. This situation is delicate, you can't go rushing in there like Rambo in a china store and demand your way. Especially when there are 49+ other stores to contend with. Plus they know there are some things that just cannot be brought up due to national security and they are hitting below the belt there. It's one thing to call someone out on their performance, but it's entirely different if you cannot say what exactly you would do different than is already being done. I also get the feeling Ryan/Romney is lying about who will be paying more taxes and the fact that their numbers (math) works out. Show your work boys. I also don't agree with shifting the tax burden to the middle class or in their supply side economic theory and that it has, is or will ever work. Stop recycling old ideas that haven't proven their worth. Biden: "Stop talking about how you care about people. Show me something. Show me a policy. Show me a policy where you take responsibility." This quote speaks a lot to me as well as the reply from Ryan that blames the Democrat one party control for all the unemployment (ever and slyly including the depression) and then goes on to inaccurately site the stimulus as failing (inflating/misrepresenting the amount of fail) and call the stimulus corrupt and full of cronyism. With out any truth or evidence from any studies. He also didn't mention that he himself asked to participate in this program for the benefit of his own state. But again not one word on what and how their policy would work. How come Ryan couldn't say that the plan is to increase military spending or acknowledge an amount, but also wouldn't say it would not do so either? I still don't really know what the intention is there, other than he doesn't want to say. Same with his manipulation of the math to support a voucher system, without refuting any evidence of the studies of how it will eventually break the system and provide substandard care for the less wealthy. Along the abortion issue, Biden scores mega points with me. He stood up for his personal convictions and beliefs, but acknowledge he will not force his views through laws on others who don't hold same beliefs. The recent terrorist attack in Benghazi does puzzle me. I feel there was some mismanagement of info there, but I was satisfied with Bidens reply that they would find out what happened and prevent it from happening again. I am a firm believer that once you put someone in a position to make those decisions you trust them to a certain degree. Some detail don't need to be made public, for security reasons, no matter which party is in office. It's very hard to determine when there are consistent problems, because we don't know of all the times where our government was successful in being safe but we do know when they fail. I also agree that it's not the time to stand up and make statements before anyone knows what is going on, just to make a political point. That more than anything makes the US look weak. United we stand. This is quite long. I know, just my take on some views. I think voters won this one, due to great moderating and some very substantive views were made by both candidates with less of the stump speech retoric.