Saturday night's CBS debate is a joint effort between CBS News, CBS's local affiliate in Des Moines, and the Des Moines Register and will have four moderators — John Dickerson, Nancy Cordes, Kevin Cooney, and Kathie Obradovich.
Who is John Dickerson?
John Dickerson is 47 years old and is the host of Face the Nation on CBS, the political director of CBS News, and a regular on Slate's Political Gabfest. He and I used to work together at Slate, and he is an all-around wonderful person.
Before coming to Slate, he was a correspondent at Time for 12 years and played a minor — but disputed — role in the Valerie Plame saga. His wife, Ann Dickerson, is a consultant and media trainer who once advised me to cut out the uptalk during broadcast appearances, advice that loyal listeners of The Weeds know I have not taken.
Who is Nancy Cordes?
Nancy Cordes is 40 years old and is a correspondent for CBS News, focusing recently on the 2016 presidential campaign. The conservative media watchdog site Newsbusters has convinced itself that this banal recap she did of the fourth GOP debate exhibits liberal media bias, so be on the lookout for post-debate complaints about her questioning almost regardless of what she actually says.
She likes Taylor Swift and enjoys DC's "urban amenities" but also wishes there were more parking spaces, which I think is more contradictory than she realizes. Back in 2014, the Hill named her one of the 50 most beautiful people on Capitol Hill.
Who is Kevin Cooney?
Kevin Cooney is a veteran reporter for KCCI NewsChannel 8 in Des Moines, Iowa.
A native of the region, he worked in the KCCI production department as a high school student, did sports reporting while attending Iowa State University, and joined the news department full time in 1974 upon graduation. With the exception of a two-year stint at KNTV in San Diego, he's been with the station ever since and has been a news anchor since 1982. He's 63 years old, and he is retiring this month. Given Cooney's deep Iowa ties, we can perhaps expect him to ask some of the kinds of Iowa-specific questions that have thus far not gotten much play in either party's presidential debates.
Who is Kathie Obradovich?
Kathie Obradovich is a political columnist for the Des Moines Register who graduated from Iowa State in 1982 and has been working in Iowa journalism since her first job covering the night police shift for the Quad-City Times. She became political editor of the Register in 2003 and steered their coverage of the 2004 Iowa caucuses. In 2009 when longtime Register columnist David Yepsen — historically the guy who explained Iowa to DC-based political reporters — stepped down, she replaced him as the Register's chief political columnist.
Her columns tend to take a liberal slant on issues like Medicaid and taxes, and she has lately written frequently about criminal justice reform, so she may offer questions that push the debate dialogue to the left.