Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today, is set to moderate the only vice presidential debate between incumbent Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Kamala Harris. The two will face off tonight at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Page's turn at helming the candidates follows last week's presidential debate, in which moderator Chris Wallace famously struggled to keep President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden in line.
After watching the debate, Page told USA Today that the spectacle was a reminder to prep. "It didn't change anything, but it kind of reinforced the idea that this is an event for which you have to be very, very prepared," she said. "I've tried to really think through what would be an approach that would work to keep the debate on track."
Here's what to know about the moderator.
She's a veteran White House reporter.
Not only is Page the Washington bureau chief for USA Today, but she has a lot of experience covering White House affairs. Her career spans six administrations and 11 national campaigns, and she's also the first print reporter to helm a televised presidential or vice presidential debate since 1976, according to the Los Angeles Times. Also, while working for USA Today, Page has interviewed nine U.S. presidents, six of whom were in office.
She has an extensive reporting résumé.
Before joining USA Today as a White House correspondent in 1995, Page got her start as a beat reporter for Newsday, a daily in Long Island, New York. She eventually moved up the ranks to the paper's Washington bureau, where she covered the 1980 presidential race between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter (Reagan ultimately prevailed).
While much of her experience has been in print journalism, she told USA Today that serving as a guest host for NPR's former call-in program, The Diane Rehm Show, helped fortify the skills she'll need for tonight's debate. She has also offered political analysis on televised shows like PBS NewsHour, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, and CBS This Morning.
She wrote a book about former First Lady Barbara Bush and is currently writing one on Nancy Pelosi.
The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty, a biography about the former First Lady, was published in April 2019. It became a New York Times best seller and received warm reviews from critics.
Page is in the process of writing her second book, Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power, a biography on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. It's set to be released in April of next year.
She was criticized for throwing a party for a Trump administration official back in 2018.
Following the news of her selection for the vice presidential debate, a House committee report surfaced, including details of a celebration Page threw at her home for the head of Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma. The cost for the PR consultant who arranged the event was reportedly paid for by taxpayers, although USA Today said that Page was unaware of the charge and covered the costs out of her own pocket, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"That points to the most telling and disturbing aspect of Verma's personal publicity campaign: The complicity of Washington's journalistic power structure in burnishing the reputation of public officials who deserve to be pilloried for their performance, not honored for their 'leadership,'" wrote business columnist Michael Hiltzik for the Times.
You Might Also Like