Moderating a presidential debate can be a thankless task of asking the right questions to get polished candidates to say something, anything interesting — all while corralling a group of politicians used to soaking up the limelight.
After last night's performance as moderators, Fox News anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace deserve a big thank you. They did a great job managing a stage of 10 candidates, Donald Trump's antics included.
The trio of moderators had good questions about immigration and national security, the latter of which kicked off a memorable and heated exchange between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul. These were questions meant to highlight intraparty tensions, spaces where candidates who fall under the Republican umbrella disagree, and it worked.
They went to great efforts to talk about candidates' perceived weaknesses, pushing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on his support for Common Core and Ohio Gov. John Kasich about his decision to expand Medicaid. Kelly pushed Bush on the Iraq War, asking how he could look at "families of those who died in that war ... and say that your brother's war was a mistake?"
Kelly was, overall, the particular standout for the evening, especially for her opening question for frontrunner Donald Trump. "You've called women you don't like "fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals," Kelly began, only to have Trump interrupt her to note his "fat pig" comment only regarded Rosie O'Donnell.
Kelly continued undeterred.
Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women's looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?
A round of applause is in order for the Fox News moderators, who made an event that could have been quite dull anything but.