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Who Is Susan Page, the Moderator of the Vice Presidential Debate? (Article Title)

edited October 8 in Off-Topic
Chris Wallace kind of got his head handed to him on a platter in the first debate. Highly capable. I thought he’d fare better. But moderating these things seems like an impossible job. As good as Jim Lehrer was, he more or less lost control of one he moderated.

Page is an interesting choice. I’ve seen her only as a guest on programs - not as headliner or anchor. Good head on her shoulders. I try not to approach these debates from a political vantage point. (But hard not to.) I sometimes find the moderator’s skills (or lack thereof) and approach more interesting than what the candidates say.

Timing for tonight’s debate in SLC couldn’t be better. VP Pence, after all, is long-serving head of the President’s Covid-19 task force.

https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a34289358/who-is-susan-page/

Comments

  • Thanks for that info, hank.
  • edited October 8
    (Edit) @Old_Joe - “Lets make OT Great Again.”
    :)
  • We thought that she did very well in keeping order, and also thought that part of that was the natural advantage of her voice- perhaps better able to cut through verbal clutter.
  • edited October 8
    hank said:

    Mike Wallace kind of got his head handed to him on a platter in the first debate. Highly capable. I thought he’d fare better. But moderating these things seems like an impossible job. As good as Jim Lehrer was, he more or less lost control of one he moderated.

    Page is an interesting choice. I’ve seen her only as a guest on programs - not as headliner or anchor. Good head on her shoulders. I try not to approach these debates from a political vantage point. (But hard not to.) I sometimes find the moderator’s skills (or lack thereof) and approach more interesting than what the candidates say.

    Timing for tonight’s debate in SLC couldn’t be better. VP Pence, after all, is long-serving head of the President’s Covid-19 task force.

    https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a34289358/who-is-susan-page/

    Isn't Mike Wallace dead?

    She did right by letting the candidates go long. Some of her questions were ridiculous.
  • edited October 8
    “Isn't Mike Wallace dead?”

    Picky. Picky ..... :)

    I shall correct the above error. Thank you.
  • Um @Gary - Ms. Page didn't select the questions. They were given to her at the start of the debate(?). And an affirmative NO on letting them go long. I don't know squat about debating procedures and protocol but isn't the point to see how good one is on their feet forming a coherent thought and answer? It's so irritating to see one party more forcefully thinking that the rules don't apply to them.
  • edited October 8
    I did some debating in college & coaching afterward as well. Academic debate is pretty structured with a proposition, an affirmative side supporting the proposition and a negative side refuting it. Both evidence and reasoning are important of course. And there’s a qualified judge (or group of judges) who “decides” the winner based on specific criteria. If it were to end in a tie, the decision would go to the negative side, as the affirmative side had failed to demonstrate unequivocally the “need” for a change.

    But debate can take any form (need not be academic in structure). As @Mark says, there are rules to any kind of structured debate - which these televised spectacles certainly qualify as. In formal academic debate there is a time keeper (in my day an individual held up flash cards) so speakers always know how much time they have remaining. Technically, if they run over time, nothing said past the 0 mark is to be considered in rendering the final decision.

    Almost certainly the candidates in these “spectacle debates” (like last evening’s) are viewing a timing device all the while speaking. They know when their time is running out. An immense improvement, I think, would be for that time remaining to be displayed on screen for the audience (you and me) to view. Alas, we’d know when their time was running out and it would be apparent to all when a speaker started “cheating” by running overtime. Likely, it would deter the practice.

    In a good debate there’s reason for a speaker to want to run overtime to conclude an often elaborate line of argument.. Last night both speakers appeared to rely pretty much on previously prepared and rehearsed (“canned”) speeches, often not even appropriate for the question that was presented. There was absolutely no reason for either to run over, except that they viewed the extra minutes they essentially “stole” as that much more free political advertising.
  • If I recall correctly, early on VP Pence was specifically asked why the US was so much worse than countries like Canada with respect to the national Covid stats. He spent his two minutes without even pretending to answer that question. I really wondered why Senator Harris didn't simply note that for the sake of the audience.

    She was almost as bad, though at least sometimes she made a flimsy effort to sort of tie her "answer" back to the question.

    I found it interesting that neither of them bothered to point out the other's lack of response to the question which had been asked. It was almost as if they had an unspoken agreement not to challenge each other on that point.
  • edited October 8
    I agree with all that @Old_Joe. You said it well. For whatever reason, Page didn’t take it upon herself to go after them for not addressing her questions.

    The question about “succession planning” was a tricky one to touch if they hadn’t anticipated it ahead of time - which apparently they hadn’t. Filled with potential mines. But I was thinking today what a missed opportunity for Harris to talk up the rapport and trust between her and the more experienced Biden, about how much she’s already learned from him, as well as her own considerable experience in government. She could have knocked that one out of the park. Especially since Pence had already declined to address it.
  • Yes, I felt that way about that question also. The"answer" seemed to be nothing more than a litany of preplanned "talking points". She should have been able to do better.
  • I agree with all that @Old_Joe and @hank especially considering that early on in the primary process after Biden won the nomination to run didn't he say that he was looking for a running mate who could step right in should he become unable to perform his duties and/or swim right in into the next campaign?
  • edited October 9
    First link (Time) covers 10 biggest “flubs” since the VP / Pres. debates began. Candidates, fearful of getting burned, have learned to play it safe rather than unleash a monster flub that might damage the campaign. If you’re ahead in the polls, play it even safer.

    https://time.com/4493402/see-the-top-10-political-debate-flubs/

    -
    This is the one I love. It’s hard to imagine this is the opening salvo in a serious national debate, rather than a stand-up comic.

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