The moderator of the lone October vice presidential debate was previously married to a top Obama official, an association both ABC News and the left-leaning Commission on Presidential Debates do not view as a conflict of interest.
ABC Senior Foreign Correspondent Martha Raddatz, whose role as moderator was announced on August 13, was previously married to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski — an Obama appointee.
Genachowki and Raddatz were married in 1991, the same year he graduated from Harvard Law School. Their marriage ended in 1997; the two have a son together. Raddatz does not report on the FCC for ABC News.
Genachowski and classmate Barack Obama worked together on the Harvard Law Review, Genachowski as notes editor and Obama as the publication’s president. They graduated in the same class.
ABC did not consider the disclosure of Raddatz’s ties to an Obama appointee necessary when it issued a press release announcing that the Commission on Presidential Debates had selected her to moderate the debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican nominee Rep. Paul Ryan.
It’s unclear if Raddatz knew Obama during the 1990s when she was married to Genachowski. Neither she nor Genachowski responded to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.
ABC declined The Daily Caller’s request for comment through spokesman David Ford, who also told TheDC that Raddatz would not be responding.
Commission on Presidential Debates co-chair Mike McCurry said his organization did not take Raddatz’ prior marriage into account when selecting her.
“We selected the moderators based on their reputations for integrity and journalistic impartiality among other things,” McCurry told TheDC. “What counts is the quality of their work, not who they may have been married to in the past.”
The Commission’s other Obama administration ties include several personal friends and political supporters of President Obama who are among its leaders.
Commission board member Newton Minow, who was FCC chairman under President John F. Kennedy, was an early and prominent supporter of Obama’s 2008 campaign.
It was during his time as a summer associate in 1989 at Minow’s Chicago law firm, Sidley & Austin LLP, that Obama was introduced to the influential members of Chicago’s political scene. Minow made many of those introductions himself.