Who’s Kristen Welker? – Meet The Third Presidential Debate Moderator

With lower than two weeks to go till election day, all eyes are on Kristen Welker. The NBC Information correspondent would be the closing moderator within the presidential debates between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, internet hosting their match-up at Nashville’s Belmont College on Thursday, October 22. Welker, 44, is just the second Black lady to average a presidential debate solo, following ABC Information journalist Carole Simpson in 1992.

Welker is an NBC Information White Home correspondent and Weekend TODAY host, with chosen debate matters together with coronavirus, race, local weather change, nationwide safety, US households, and management. Welker can also be the primary debate moderator after Fox Information anchor Chris Wallace, because the second debate was cancelled following Trump’s refusal to go digital. Previous to taking the talk stage, Welker was a distinguished determine on the 2016 marketing campaign path and earned the nickname “the Welk-nado,” from Weekend TODAY co-host Peter Alexander. “She sweeps via the room, would not cease, would not pause. She’s relentless,” he advised ELLE.com in 2016.

Forward, how Welker’s atmospheric presence will serve her throughout tonight’s debate and why Trump is already criticizing her credentials.

She’s a longtime NBC Information White Home correspondent and anchor.

Welker is a Philadelphia native who studied American historical past at Harvard Faculty, graduating in 1998. Simply earlier than commencement, she interned at TODAY, then held reporting positions at NBC associates in Windfall, Rhode Island and Redding, California. For 5 years, she labored at WCAU, the NBC affiliate in her hometown of Philadelphia.

Since 2010, she’s been a member of the NBC Information workforce and have become a White Home correspondent in 2011. Welker was a rising star as a part of NBC Information’ 2016 marketing campaign protection and was promoted to Weekend TODAY co-anchor alongside Peter Alexander in January 2020. In April, she delivered this viral second exterior of the White Home, reporting as lighting gear fell round her.

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This is not her first time moderating a presidential debate.

Whereas Welker makes historical past as a solo moderator, she co-moderated a Democratic main presidential debate final November alongside MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, and Washington Submit’s Ashley Parker. The ten members included former Vice President Joe Biden; California Sen. Kamala Harris; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; billionaire Tom Steyer; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

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Rising up biracial impressed her to develop into a journalist.

Welker has additionally spoken about how rising up with a Black mom and white father influenced her choice to develop into a journalist. “Rising up as a biracial youngster, the concept of serving to folks of various races and backgrounds higher talk impressed me to develop into a journalist,” she advised Glamour in June. Welker mentioned she felt that very same sense of civic obligation amid protests following George Floyd’s demise. “With protesters demanding change after George Floyd’s demise, it’s extra necessary than ever that everybody has a voice and elected leaders from the White Home to Metropolis Corridor are held accountable for his or her phrases and actions, or lack thereof,” she mentioned.

Welker additionally paid tribute to her mom, Juliet, in ‘The Greatest Recommendation My Mom Gave Me’ function on Maria Shriver’s web site. She referred to Juliet as “my greatest supporter, my greatest buddy, and my biggest inspiration.” In keeping with Welker, her mom was a “trailblazer” who turned the primary African American president of the ladies’s pupil affiliation at Penn State. “From the second I advised my mom that I wished to be a journalist, she has stood by my aspect each step of the way in which,” Welker wrote, including, “My mother texts me after each single stay report back to cheer me on. I’d not be the individual or journalist that I’m in the present day if it weren’t for my mother.”

Trump is already attacking her on Twitter.

Trump has been vital of Welker, simply as he was of earlier moderators Wallace and NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, who hosted his city corridor. Donald Trump Jr. wrote, “Yikes! Right here we go once more” in response to a New York Submit story detailing Welker’s dad and mom’ historical past of supporting Democratic candidates. The president retweeted his son’s remark and added, “She’s at all times been horrible & unfair, similar to many of the Faux Information reporters, however I’ll nonetheless play the sport. The folks know!”

In keeping with Vainness Truthful, Trump additionally referred to Welker as a “radical Democrat” who has been “screaming questions at me for a very long time” throughout a rally in Arizona. In Wisconsin, he reportedly mentioned, “She’s terribly unfair, however that’s alright.” As reported by the outlet, Trump really congratulated Welker on her promotion to coanchor of Weekend TODAY earlier this 12 months.

There’s been some hypothesis about her social media.

Within the lead-up to Welker’s moderating stint, there’s been discourse about her social media presence. At present, her Instagram is personal and for a quick interval her Twitter seemed to be deactivated.

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Now Welker’s Twitter is lively and public as soon as extra. In keeping with the Chicago Tribune, NBC mentioned that the deactivation “was momentary and finished for safety, to not cover something she might have tweeted prior to now,” the Tribune stories. The outlet notes that Trump supporters have seized upon data that reportedly present Welker’s dad and mom donated to Democratic campaigns prior to now. Per the Tribune, Welker is a registered unbiased.

She met her husband on a blind date.

Welker is married to John Hughes, a Philadelphia advertising and marketing director. They had been arrange three years prior on a blind date and he proposed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Welker advised The New York Occasions she knew Hughes was the one when he gifted her a handwritten crossword puzzle of presidential trivia. “That’s the second he obtained me,” she recalled. “As a White Home correspondent, it was so touching, and it marked him totally different than anybody else I ever dated.” They had been married of their joint hometown of Philadelphia in March 2017. “He allowed me to be me,” Welker advised the Occasions of their courtship. “And he’s extremely calm, whereas I’m usually speaking 100 miles a minute.”

Lately, the couple is working from their house side-by-side. Welker advised Individuals that Hughes is her “producer from house” and has even mastered the teleprompter. “He is simply so supportive, and simply jumps proper in,” she advised the outlet. “We joke that he’ll be becoming a member of the union quickly, as a result of he is aware of learn how to use the entire gear.”

This week, she’s profitable a high-profile journalism award.

The day after Welker’s debate efficiency, she’ll be honored as 2020’s Excellent Broadcast Journalist on the Washington Ladies in Journalism Awards. Previous award winners embody CNN’s Abby Phillip, NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly, and CNN’s Dana Bash.

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A Q+A on the group’s web site reveals Welker’s first byline got here courtesy of the Harvard Crimson in 1994 and that finding out overseas in Madrid was top-of-the-line selections she’s made. Her most necessary story was concerning the elevated maternal mortality charges amongst Black ladies and her recommendation for younger journalists? “Be courageous. Elevate your hand for each task that comes your approach. Be ready to work tougher than you might have ever imagined, and search out constructive criticism,” Welker says.

Watch Welker average the ultimate debate tonight at 9pm ET.

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