Rep. Maloney Applauds Selection of CNN’s Candy Crowley as First Woman Presidential Debate Moderator in 20 Years
New York – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) applauded the announcement by the Commission on Presidential Debates that Candy Crowley, the widely respected political journalist and anchor of “State of the Union” on the Cable News Network (CNN), to serve as the moderator of the presidential debate taking place in Hempstead, New York on October 16, 2012. Crowley is the first woman reporter to moderate a presidential debate since Carole Simpson of ABC News in 1992. Today’s announcement followed a movement to urge the Commission to select a female moderator, which included an on-line petition drive organized by high school students in New Jersey and a joint letter from several Members of Congress to the Commission that was initiated by Congresswoman Maloney.
“Candy Crowley is an eminently qualified veteran reporter and interviewer, and I am thrilled that the Commission on Presidential Debates has selected her as a moderator. I think it’s entirely appropriate that she’ll be moderating the debate taking place in New York State, the birthplace of the movement for equality for American women,” said Congresswoman Maloney, a former Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues.
“I was proud to champion the grass-roots effort to refocus the spotlight on the glaring lack of female moderators in the last four elections, which was launched this year by three young women from Montclair, New Jersey – Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis. Their grass roots efforts show how democracy can work if everyone uses their voice and their vote to make things better. Their drive and determination bring to mind the famous saying attributed to Margaret Mead: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,’” said Representative Maloney.
In their joint letter to the Commission, U.S. Representatives Maloney, Barbara Lee (D-CA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) wrote “to urge to the Commission on Presidential Debates to select at least one woman as moderator for the Presidential debates this year,” and that “it defies reason to believe that there has been no woman with the gravitas to moderate a Presidential debate in the last twenty years.”
The call for a woman moderator of a Presidential debate gained renewed momentum last month when three students at Montclair High School in New Jersey, Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel and Elena Tsemberis, collected 170,000 signatures in a petition urging the Commission on Presidential Debates to name a woman moderator for one of this year’s presidential showdowns. The signatures were collected through the website, Change.org, which serves as an on-line petition forum. The teenagers’ call was quickly embraced by Congresswoman Maloney and other leaders in Washington.
The three 2012 Presidential debates are scheduled to occur on October 3rd in Denver, Colorado; October 16th at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York; and on October 22nd in Boca Raton, Florida. Today, the Commission on Presidential Debates, co-chaired by Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., and Michael D. McCurry, announced that the October 16th debate on Long Island debate will be moderated by Candy Crowley of CNN. It will be staged as a “town-hall” event in which pre-selected audience members will ask questions of the candidates.
Candy Crowley is a veteran political journalist and anchor of CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” that airs every Sunday. She has been with CNN since 1987. Congresswoman Maloney appeared on “State of the Union” on April 15, 2012.
The last woman to moderate a Presidential debate was Carole Simpson of ABC News, who presided over a 1992 debate featuring Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ross Perot. Four years ago, Gwen Ifill of PBS moderated a Vice-Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.