The consensus around the nation is that Martha Raddatz was a winner at the debate. Let’s hope that Candy Crowley and Bob Schieffer at least follow her example, and I suspect they will, in the final two debates between the presidential candidates.
Martha Raddatz of ABC News didn’t ask puffy questions like Jim Lehrer did at the presidential debate. Or let the candidates get away with vague non-answers, as Jim Lehrer did.
Ms. Raddatz acted like a working journalist instead of a television personality from her first question, on Ambassador Stevens’ death: “It was a pre-planned assault by heavily armed men,” she said. “Wasn’t this a massive intelligence failure, Vice President Biden?”
Ms. Raddatz showed a consistent willingness to call the candidates on their “malarkey,” as the Vice President put it. When Mr. Ryan said he could cut taxes without reducing the deficit by eliminating loopholes, but didn’t actually mention which loopholes, she drew attention to his evasiveness: “No specifics, again.”
And she refused to let Mr. Ryan ignore her question about his ticket’s plan to increase the defense budget. By my count, she returned to that point six times, culminating with the rather sharp: “I want to know how you do the math and have this increase in defense spending?”