Elaine Quijano is about to become the first Asian-American to moderate a national debate


Tuesday’s vice presidential debate between middle-aged white man Tim Kaine and middle-aged white man Mike Pence might seem, at first blush, like the least historic event in an otherwise historic election. But thanks to CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano, history will still be made when she becomes the first Asian-American to moderate a national debate. Here are five things you should know about Quijano heading into tonight’s debate.

She is Filipino-American.

Quijano is a second generation Filipino-American. In a 2009 speech at the University of Illinois, Quijano recounted how her mother grew up in the Philippines as the daughter of a widowed seamstress and eventually graduated from college and moved to the United States.

She is the youngest moderator in decades

At 42, Quijano will be the youngest debate moderator since 1988 when a 41-year-old Judy Woodruff moderated the now-infamous vice-presidential debate between Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle.

She’s the first digital anchor

As a lead anchor at CBS’s online streaming service, CBSN, Quijano will be the first digital news anchor to moderate a debate.

She knows a thing or two about vice presidents

In 2004 Quijano covered John Edwards’ vice-presidential campaign before going on to become a White House correspondent for CNN.  She also has experience covering breaking news and global affairs, reporting everywhere from Kabul to Beijing.

She hasn’t tweeted since it was announced that she would moderate the debate.

Quijano’s Twitter account hasn’t been active since September 1, the day before the Commission on Presidential Debates announced this year’s moderators.

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