Filipina Anchor Elaine Quijano, first Asian American debate moderator, gets high marks for VP match


Many in the Twittersphere are giving Elaine Quijano an “A.” The Filipino American veteran journalist made history as the first Asian American, first digital anchor and youngest moderator in decades, of a national debate.

Twitter users are commending her moderation of the just-concluded U.S. Vice Presidential debate, citing she asked substantive questions and held her own with the two VP candidates, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, specifically by effectively controlling the discussion and keeping it on track. Many particularly lauded her stern reminder to the two when they constantly interrupted each other: “Gentlemen, the people at home cannot understand either one of you when you talk over each other.”

Quijano is a New York-based, Chicago native, the lead weekday anchor for CBSN [an Internet TV news channel], she also anchors “CBS Weekend News” on Sundays and contributes across the network’s platforms. Prior to that, Quijano spent ten years covering politics for CNN Newsource and CNN.

Quijano’s CBS colleagues anchoring the network’s post-debate coverage, Scott Pelley and Bob Schieffer gave glowing marks for Quijano, with Schieffer saying: “She did a magnificent job. I’ve been there, done that, it’s not as easy as it looks.”

A sampling of some early tweets and Facebook posts from many in the Filipino American community showed great pride for her historic role, and how she moderated this Oct. 4 debate, especially as the diaspora is celebrating October as Filipino American History Month. Praise also came from mainstream media and the entertainment world:

Don Tagala — Taray ni Elaine!!! [Elaine is fierce!]: “Governor, It’s Sen. Tim Kaine’s time :)”

Jose Antonio Vargas — All hail @Elaine_Quijano, who survived and won the #VPDebate.

FANHS Seattle — FYI: FilAm @Elaine_Quijano is rocking the #VPDebate #FAHM2016 #fahm #FilipinoAmericanHistoryMonth #AsianAmericans @ligaya_but_mostly_chip

Dawn Bohulano Mabalon — No need to adjust your TV sets. Yes, that’s a #FilipinaAmerican@Elaine_Quijano moderating this debate! #pinay #VPDebate #VPdebate2016

Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) — Congrats Elaine Quijano- the 1st Filipina (and 1st Asian American) to moderate a major debate! Happy Filipino American History Month!#fahm2016

Rodel Rodis — So proud of Filipino American Elaine Quijano.

S Delen Retweeted — Bridget@bridget_koval Ma girl @Elaine_Quijano needs to host the next presidential debate, she is doing an amazing job keeping these bozos in line #VPDebate

Huffington Post — Line of the night, from Elaine Quijano: “I will remind you both that this question was about North Korea” #VPDebates

The Hollywood Reporter’s post-VP debate piece: “VP Debate Moderator Elaine Quijano Praised by Twitter Users” highlighted this tweet:

Hari Kondabolu — An Asian American Woman telling two old white dudes when to talk..I LOVE IT. #VPDebate

CBS News’s story right after the debate declared Quijano, one of its digital news anchors as “the early winner” of the VP match-up, highlighting admiration from many Twitter users including:

Dan Rather — Moderator @Elaine_Quijano does well by pointing out @GovPenceIN didn’t answer the question about @realDonaldTrump and taxes

The story also included some criticism, citing that “there were some who claimed Quijano let the two men talk over each other and her too.”

Howard Kurtz — Elaine Quijano is losing control, plain and simple. The men just keep talking over each other

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