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Martha Raddatz Wins The Debate

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Raddatz not only upstaged last week's lackluster performance by Jim Lehrer, she was the debate's star.

Image by Pool / Reuters

The Vice Presidential Debate's winner? Not a candidate, but the debate's moderator, ABC's Martha Raddatz.

Raddatz asked questions on a wide span of issues, ranging from foreign policy to abortion, and pressed the candidates to be exacting in their answers. "Be specific," she pushed Biden when she didn't find his answer to a question on Libya to be sufficient.

She also had a pretty easy act to follow. Last week's presidential debate moderator, Jim Lehrer, was called "unconscious" and "a disaster." His pushover performance even inspired a "Silent Jim Lehrer" Twitter feed.

"She did a good job. She kept it focused without interfering too much. I felt like the questions she posed were important questions - very relevant to the concern of most Americans," Ted Strickland, Ohio's former Democratic governor, said after the debate.

Lehrer, as Strickland put it, "allowed [last week's] debate to become unfocused." He also took issue with the fact that, "There was no discussion of issues that are related to women — like equal pay for equal work. There was no discussion of the choice issue."

Even Michael Steel, a spokesman for Paul Ryan said he "thought she was clearly more assertive," even if the resulting answers were "no more disciplined."

The pro-Raddatz sentiment played out on Twitter — dozens of users posted tweets asking if they could vote for the moderator come November. "Raddatz for prez."

Political reporters and commentators largely agreed:


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