President Trump slammed Kristen Welker more than once in the lead-up to Thursday's debate, which she moderated. But once she started actually moderating, he ended up being among those giving her positive reviews. "By the way, so far I respect very much the way you’re handling this, I have to say," Trump told Welker, a White House correspondent and anchor for NBC News, before turning back to criticize Joe Biden on the subject of fracking. The Hill has the video. The AP notes Welker "worked hard ... to keep control" of the event, and that she struck a balance between giving the candidates room to speak yet still "cutting off the discussion when it was becoming unproductive."
Steve Inskeep of NPR was among many in the industry also praising Welker. "Kristen Welker has done an excellent job moderating - asked useful questions even when not answered, slipped in a fact check so courteously you could miss it, and has been evenhanded and fair," he tweeted. The Tennessean rounds up a bunch more where that came from, although not every reaction was complimentary: "Ms. Welker is now talking about the minimum wage. Why? That is a state issue," wondered Bill O'Reilly. But CNN notes she was getting praise from both the left and the right, and the BBC reports that if you look at social media, it appears Welker was the debate's true winner. (Read more Election 2020 stories.)