In the CNN clip above, Candy Crowley gives her assessment of the first presidential debate. This matters because she’s moderating the next debate on Tuesday between President Obama and Governor Romney. In her view, it’s better to hear from the candidates than the moderator, which looks like an endorsement of Jim Lehrer’s style, but neither campaign is happy. According to a TIME story by Mark Halperin, Obama and Romney’s people are complaining to the Commission on Presidential Debates after interviews with Crowley on CNN where the State of the Union anchor seems to suggest that she may assume a greater role in the previously agreed-on town-hall format. In the article, she’s quoted as saying, “Once the table is kind of set by the town-hall questioner, there is then time for me to say, ‘Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y, Z?’”
Controversial? Hardly. This is exactly why politicians are viewed with disdain. This fear of being confronted with facts, with uncomfortable views, with surprises, is understandable – but hardly endearing, or much of a public service. I would suggest to both candidates’ campaigns to grow a pair… but I know that if they’re not listening to independent fact-checkers they’re not likely to listen to simple bloggers. Fortunately, more influential people are making themselves heard, such as Greta Van Susteren of Fox News who wrote on her blog today:
The [sic] is no question that Candy Crowley is a pro with years and years of real experience….but if a candidate fears what Candy might ask at a debate, what happens when the candidate faces world leaders? Shrink and run?
As indicated by the comments on her blog, Van Susteren’s Fox News viewers are too busy praying for Romney and bashing liberals to agree with her.