As I write this on the morning following the Vice Presidential debate between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin, I realize that most people will be talking about how they duked it out, who came out on top, and whether it’s enough to put McCain over the edge in certain states. What I’m sure most people won’t be talking about, however, outside of the “Obama” book debacle, is that Gwen Ifill, a Black woman, did one of the most phenonmenal jobs as a debate moderator that we’ve ever seen.
I can’t really express my joy when I found out that Ifill would be moderating the much-anticipated Veep debate. Though my fellow black woman blogger Afrobella agreed with me, I’m pretty sure I was in the minority when I thought Gwen Ifill should have replaced Tim Russert on Meet the Press. I was so happy to see Gwen, in that fabulous turquoise suit, challenging our Vice Presidential candidates in every topic from climate change to the economy. She was poised, she was thoughtful, and, yes, she was impartial. It’s a shame more people won’t be talking about how wonderful of a job she was doing. Instead, they’ll be harping on the idea that a book she wrote about blacks in politics is somehow really about Obama.
I would be remiss to say that I was also so happy to see a dark-skinned black woman in this role. If you look at CNN or MSNBC, a lot of the black female commentators and reporters are also light skinned, such as Soledad O’Brien or Suzanne Malveaux. It is a step in the right direction to see African Americans of all shades represented on our news channels and shows. I love Soledad O’Brien–I might still have a crush on her–but as a dark-skinned female myself, I had a sense of pride in seeing Ms. Ifill do her thing.
Things like this make me believe that maybe some people are right–perhaps having a black man running for President is a catalyst for change in other facets of our society. It very well could be that Obamas’s candidacy has opened more doors for pundits of color as well.
Bottom line: I (heart) Gwen Ifill.