The Hill’s Joe Concha has a story about the process of picking debate moderators got the upcoming Presidential debates (which may or may not happen still).
Fox News’s Megyn Kelly is one obvious possibility, and several people contacted by the The Hill raised her name. Others dismissed the chance she could be selected given her history with Trump, who skipped two primary debates that she hosted.
“I think she’s a solid moderator based on what we saw in the primaries. She’s tough, measured and prepared. But there’s just too much history with Trump,” one prominent media writer told The Hill. “She’ll end up being the story if he publicly objects to her being chosen, which he almost undoubtedly would. It may even lead to him boycotting the debate and that’s the last thing anybody wants.”
This is completely wrong headed thinking. Megyn Kelly should not be punished because of Donald Trump. Kelly has done nothing wrong since the start of the election. It was Trump who made this an issue because he didn’t like tough questions. Trump has made Kelly the issue not because she had it in for him or because her questioning was out of bounds. He made Kelly an issue out of ego.
If he objects, so what? Like debate dates and times, this stuff isn’t up for negotiation. It’s take it or leave it. Trump would have a choice, to show up or not show up. I’d lay serious money that even Trump wouldn’t balk because of the optical damage it would do to him with undecideds that Hillary Clinton, his opponent, would show up for a debate but he wouldn’t.
What? Are you afraid Trump might argue that this is rigged? He’s been throwing that meme out since the primaries. He’ll throw it out whenever he thinks it will work for him. You can’t let that be a factor in your decision making process. It’s not like this would be a walk in the park for Hillary Clinton either. She has avoided press conferences and tough interviews even more than Trump has. You think she wants to subject herself to close scrutiny after Benghazi, the Dept of State email fiasco, and the Clinton Foundation bruhaha?
Both candidates don’t want this. So why make special allowances for Trump to essentially dictate who gets to ask him questions?
The idea that candidates can guard against unfair questions through moderator cherry picking is ridiculous. You think Mike Dukakis had a problem with Bernard Shaw before that debate in ’88?
Unless the prospective moderator has some kind of fundamental disqualifying characteristic…and nothing Kelly has done this year would fall into that category…they should be considered for the role.
If the candidate goes bonkers…it’s on them. These people are running for the top job in the country. If they can’t set aside ego and personal issues to submit to a few questions from someone they’d prefer to not be around, how can they possibly handle dealing with foreign leaders and international incidents which may require a President to bite back hard?
Not that I think Kelly will be picked. The Debate Commission has a track record of going off the reservation when selecting moderators and Kelly is too obvious a choice. But if you aren’t going to pick her, do it for that reason. Don’t do it because you’re afraid of how Donald Trump may react. Who is running this show? You or him?