An offset mute button during the debate traversed into a more descriptive and illuminating debate.
More than Donald Trump and Joe Biden, moderator and NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker, the first black women to moderate a presidential debate since Carole Simpson in 1992, was the show stealer in the last presidential debate before the 2020 US election. Unlike Chris Wallace’s debacle, the final Presidential debate was more civil, systematic and one with several takeaways for voters. An offset mute button during the debate traversed into a more descriptive and illuminating discourse. Trump called this stand as “extremely unfair”.
Unlike Chris Wallace’s debacle, the final Presidential debate was more civil, systematic and one with several takeaways for voters.
The 90-minute face-off debate dwelled on several counts, major of these were coronavirus and trump’s pandemic response, immigration issues, racial discrimination and climate change, with a few insults scattered along the way. In an uncharacteristic approach, Trump showed restraint. Put in other words, Welker barely let Trump overshadow the conversation or shut out Biden’s responses. Moderator with the steely nerves and poise as she is known to have, Welker again proved it to be true. The moderator of the final US Presidential debate was much more steady and firm in laying down the ground rules. Both Trump and Biden were given chances to reply to accusations posed by the other. But never were allowed to do it in a manner than takes the discourse downhill.
How Decorum Was Ensured
The stage was never on fire and the debate didn’t reach a point where the moderator would have to say, “Mr. President, I’m speaking.” Trump, on the other hand, raised his voice at varying points within discussion, whenever he decided to cut in. To her credit, Welker continued to keep Trump’s disruptions at bay throughout the debate. It was a low impact event as most officials believe. The debate showcased that both the candidates have completely different views, perspectives and vision for the future of the country.
Fortunately, the debate didn’t reach a point where the moderator would have to say, “Mr. President, I’m speaking.”
No other moment from the debate aptly describes the moderation approach than when the hot topic of racism in the US was brought up by Welker. Trump motioned that, “No President, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, has done more for African-Americans” than he has. The statement couldn’t have been more misplaced and untrue. The pattern of polarization shown by the President towards his citizens across the racial lines has been visible in his tweets and even documented by the media. Trump has vehemently opposed activists and personalities taking a stand against the systemic racism prevalent in United States today. In fact, Trump even ignores or downplays the issues attached to racism like the growing impunity among white supremacists.
During the debate, Biden’s counterpoint was to use the analogy “a dog whistle as big as a foghorn” to describe President Trump. The line became one of the most recognizable and memorable ones from the final US Presidential debate of 2020. Nevertheless, moderator Kristina Welker managed to ensure that both Trump and Biden kept their emotions in check which resulted in a debate with no significant interruptions.
Both Trump and Biden kept their emotions in check which resulted in a debate with no significant interruptions.
Eclipsing Chris Wallace
Unlike Fox News’ Chris Wallace who failed to control the tempo in the first debate, Kristen Welker was on point. She did not flinch in bringing up controversial recent reports around former VP Biden’s alleged conflict of interest attached to son Hunter Biden‘s associations with international firms and Trump’s tax returns. According to one school of experts, it was Biden who led the show with his punch lines. However, most admit that Trump was well-tempered, crisp, and surprisingly presidential all through the debate.
More than both the President and the challenger, it was Welker who came across with more eyeballs from the final debate. Most reputed media houses praised her moderation skills in standalone pieces. American citizens on social media were abuzz with appreciation for Welker, many even calling her tact in bringing out to best of Trump and Biden in the final debate as a minor victory for America. Initial hours after the conclusion of the debate saw more than 12500 tweets praising the NBC journalist for her performance.
Watch: Moderator Kristen Welker’s Best Moderator Moments from the Final US Presidential Debate of 2020