The bar was set awfully low for Kristen Welker, but nonetheless, the NBC News correspondent who moderated the second and final presidential debate Thursday night in Nashville did an outstanding job, and you can probably get a great majority of Republican and Democratic supporters to agree to that statement if they were being honest.
After the bad to embarrassing performances of Chris Wallace and Susan Page in the first two high profile debates, and the lying about a Twitter hack that never happened from Steve Scully who was scheduled to moderate the second presidential debate, Welker needed to not get in the way Thursday, while keeping order and civility and simultaneously pushing both candidates to answer important questions.
She was successful on all three accounts. One advantage she had was watching the bad performances precede her, as well as having the ultimate hammer she could go to if needed; the mute button. Most people noticed the job Welker did, including one of the debaters, as President Trump provided a light and funny moment during the debate when he took a break from criticizing Joe Biden for a moment to compliment Welker. “By the way, so far I respect very much the way you’re handling this, I have to say,” Trump told her.
Chris Wallace of Fox News admitted he was jealous of Welker, and how she was able to command the stage and not to go off the rails saying “I would have liked to have been able to moderate that debate and to get a real exchange of views instead of hundreds of interruptions.”