Presidential debate moderator Lester Holt, a veteran broadcast journalist known for a cautious and dispassionate style, is entering thorny terrain tonight at the center of what is likely to be a rhetorical firestorm between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
“In many ways Holt is not much different than an NFL referee — it’s a thankless task, no one wants to notice you, but if you make a mistake they will pounce on you,” GOP strategist Ford O’Connell said. “Here is the key: We expect close to 100 million viewers, and for about 40 million it will be their first real impression of either candidate, and depending on your party affiliation, that could be a scary thought. And that’s what should keep Holt sleepless.”
Holt has been a registered Republican since 2003, a fact that only came out after Trump lumped Holt in with other interviewers who are Democrats or seen as left-leaning.