As the Vice Presidential debate approaches, you would think there would be zero chances that this debate would have a moderator with a conflict on interest a la Gwen Ifill in 2008. Well, that’s not that case – again. With ABC News’ Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz selected to moderate the 2012 Vice Presidential debate, it should be noted that Obama attended her wedding back in 1991 and her now ex-husband, Julius Genachowski, was picked by Obama to chair the Federal Communications Commission. Obama and Genachowski, besides being classmates at Harvard Law,were also members of the Harvard Law Review.
The Daily Caller’s Josh Peterson reported on this development early yesterday morning and wrote about the preliminary steps to ascertain the truth about this story. ABC, on the other hand, went into panic mode and leaked “a pre-empitve statement” to liberal outlets, likePolitico and The Daily Beast, “revealing what may have been internal network pressure felt just days before Raddatz was scheduled to moderate the one and only vice-presidential debate Thursday night.” Peterson also reported that:
Genachowski — called “Jay” at the time of his wedding, sources told TheDC — and Raddatz would go on to have a son together before their divorce in 1997…a source who attended the 1991 wedding told TheDC that Obama was also a guest there, and remembered that a man by the name of “Barry Obama” was among the guests dancing at the reception. (RELATED: Marital, personal ties link Obama administration to Commission on Presidential Debates)
In August The Daily Caller first connected Genachowski, an Obama appointee, to Raddatz following her selection as the vice presidential debate moderator by the left-leaning Commission on Presidential Debates. That debate, between Congressman Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden, will take place Thursday night at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
Genachowski’s friendship with Obama would continue through the campaign trail in 2008 and into the White House: He aggressively fundraised for Obama in 2008 as a campaign bundler, and served on the presidential transition team before winning his appointment to chair the FCC.
As ABC News tried to bury the story and even circled the wagons around Raddatz, it was a futile exercise and released this statement, which can be seen on Dylan Byers’ blog.
Martha Raddatz is known for her tough, fair reporting, which is why it was no surprise to her colleagues inside and outside ABC News that she was chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates for this assignment. Barack Obama was a law school classmate of Raddatz’s ex-husband Julius Genachowski at Harvard. At the time Barack Obama was a student and president of the Law Review. He attended their wedding over two decades ago along with nearly the entire Law Review, many of whom went onto successful careers including some in the Bush administration. Raddatz and Mr. Genachowski divorced in 1997 and both are now remarried.
Nevertheless, Raddatz is preparing for the debate and her friends say that “she’s ready for primetime,” according to Michael Calderone at Huffington Post (because they’re never biased).
“There’s not going to be an empty chair there,” said Philip Bennett, managing editor of Frontline and a family friend for more than 15 years. “Her ability to engage seriously, directly, and honestly on these issues is really unmatched in the world of people who’d feel comfortable going on television before millions of people and forcing a genuine conversation and discussion to take place.”
Bennett said Raddatz is skilled in deep listening and empathy, while also possessing a “steely-eyed, no-nonsense approach to complex issues.”