Medill alumni Steve Scully and Susan Page to moderate 2020 presidential and vice presidential debates


Daily file photo by Alec Carroll

Susan Page (second from the left) on a panel at Medill in 2017. The NU alumna will moderate the vice presidential debate on Oct. 7.

Binah Schatsky, Assistant Campus Editor

Of the three upcoming debates leading up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, two will be moderated by Medill alumni.

USA Today’s Susan Page (Medill ’73) will moderate the Oct. 7 debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the sole vice presidential debate before the election. C-SPAN’s Steve Scully (Medill MSJ ’85) will moderate the Oct. 15 presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

“The debates are a crucial part of making our democracy work, and I am honored to participate,” Page told The Daily in an email.

Page joined USA Today in 1995 writing about politics and the White House, and in 2000, she became Washington bureau chief. Throughout her career, she has covered six White House administrations and 10 presidential elections, and has interviewed the past nine presidents, starting with Richard Nixon. She has reported internationally from six continents and is the author of “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty.” At Northwestern, Page was the editor in chief of The Daily.

With the debate upcoming, Page has received criticism for hosting an event in 2018 honoring Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, an action many deemed inappropriately partisan. USA Today defended Page, calling the event routine and independent from any federal funding. 

Scully is a C-SPAN political editor, senior executive producer and host. He has covered every presidential race since 1992 and in 2016 was named backup moderator for three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

The Oct. 7 and Oct. 15 debates will take place at the University of Utah and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, respectively, each in front of a select audience. Page and Scully will be the sole moderators.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @BinahSchatsky

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