WOMEN

Presidential Debate Gives Women The Vanna White Slot

This June 2012 handout photo provided by CNN shows CNN anchor and chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. For the first
This June 2012 handout photo provided by CNN shows CNN anchor and chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. For the first time in two decades, a woman has been tapped to moderate a presidential debate. CNN’s Candy Crowley will moderate one of three October debates between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday. Jim Lehrer of PBS and Bob Schieffer of CBS News will moderate the other two debates. Lehrer will moderate the first debate on Oct. 3 in Denver, focused on domestic topics. (AP Photo/Edward M. Pio Roda, CNN)

When CNN’s Candy Crowley moderates the second presidential debate in a few weeks, she will be only the second woman to perform that role since Carole Simpson in 1992. So that’s good news, right? Except for one thing: Like Simpson before her, Crowley was chosen for the “town hall” debate, the forum in which audience members ask the questions. In other words, this outstanding journalist—who interviews politicians regularly on her own Sunday-morning show, State of the Union—will be holding the microphone but rarely speaking into it.

In America today, women can run for president (and, as Hillary Clinton put it during the 2008 primaries, get enough votes to “put about 18 million cracks” in the presidential glass ceiling) but can’t be trusted to ask two men some tough questions.

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