The Commission on Presidential Debates has chosen C-SPAN political editor and host of the network’s “Washington Journal” call-in program, Steve Scully, to moderate the second presidential debate on Oct. 15 in Miami.
Scully is largely considered an old-school, unbiased journalist and was described as having a “famously calm demeanor” in a recent bio by Marie Claire. So one might think his presence at the debate would be a welcome addition after Tuesday night’s testy, insult-laden contest.
Yet, as the Daily Wire reported Thursday, there are a some areas of Scully’s background that are likely to raise eyebrows in conservative circles. Namely, that Scully worked as an intern for then-Sen. Joe Biden in college and later worked as a staff assistant in late liberal firebrand Sen. Ted Kennedy’s communications office.
In a 2011 interview with the Cable Center, Scully explained his career history and how it headed in the political direction after he interned for Biden.
“You know, it was pretty traditional,” he said. “I came to school in Washington, D.C., went to American University and had a couple of internships. I worked for Joe Biden, senator from Delaware at the time, as an intern, so I had my first chance to really see politics up close in Washington, D.C.
“I worked for Senator Kennedy,” he continued. “I was involved in his ill-fated campaign in 1980, which was interesting; having worked as a high school student in the Carter campaign in 1976, I saw from two different perspectives. I always knew I wanted to come back to Washington.”
Now, being partisan doesn’t preclude someone from being fair. But it’s worth considering what the Democratic response would be if a former Trump employee were slated to moderate a debate.
Scully was a backup moderator for the 2016 presidential debates, and while his services weren’t needed, he told Politico at the time that he was ready if called.
“I have the file with me,” Scully said ahead of the first debate. “If they call me at 8:59 p.m., I’m ready to go, and if they do in the next three debates I’m ready to go as well.”