The fact that Ifill wrote the book about Obama is not automatically disqualifying. But the fact that she didn’t tell the Commission on Presidential Debates about her book, and that she doesn’t see what the fuss is about, does.
“I’ve got a pretty long track record covering politics and news, so I’m not particularly worried that one-day blog chatter is going to destroy my reputation,” Ifill told the Associated Press. “The proof is in the pudding. They can watch the debate tomorrow night and make their own decisions about whether or not I’ve done my job.”
The question is what Ifill thinks her job is – moderating in an impartial manner or selling her book. And to dismiss this as “one day blog chatter” indicates that she thinks this decision is above criticism.
She’s giving a big “[blank] you” to those who think writing a book on “the age of Obama” might give you an incentive to ensure that an “age of Obama” comes to pass.
She says we can judge her tomorrow. But if her questions are, “Joe, how did you get so smart?” and “Sarah, how do you live with yourself, knowing all the terrible things you’ve done”, there’s no method of recourse. The debate will already be done.
McCain and Palin ought to demand a new moderator.