Filipina Anchor Elaine Quijano, First Asian-American Debate Moderator Gets High Marks for VP Match

Story tools

A A AResize


SAN FRANCISCO, California - Many in the Twittersphere are giving Elaine Quijano an 'A'. The Filipino-American veteran journalist made history as the first Asian-American, first digital anchor and youngest moderator in decades, of a national debate. Twitter users are commending her moderation of the just-concluded US Vice-Presidential debate, citing she asked substantive questions and held her own with the two VP candidates, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, specifically by effectively controlling the discussion and keeping it on track. Many particularly lauded her stern reminder to the two when they constantly interrupted each other: “Gentlemen, the people at home cannot understand either one of you when you talk over each other.” 

Quijano is a New York-based, Chicago native, the lead weekday anchor for CBSN [an internet TV news channel], she also anchors "CBS Weekend News" on Sundays and contributes across the network's platforms. Prior to that, Quijano spent ten years covering politics for CNN Newsource and CNN.

Elaine's CBS colleagues anchoring the network's post-debate coverage, Scott Pelley and Bob Schieffer gave glowing marks for Quijano, with Schieffer saying: "She did a magnificent job. I've been there, done that, it's not as easy as it looks."

A sampling of some early tweets and Facebook posts from many in the Filipino-American community showed great pride for her historic role, and how she moderated this Oct. 4 debate, especially as the diaspora is celebrating October as Filipino-American History Month. Praise also came from mainstream media and the entertainment world:

Don Tagala
Taray ni Elaine!!! [Elaine is fierce!]: "Governor, It's Sen. Tim Kaine's time :)"

Jose Antonio Vargas
All hail @Elaine_Quijano, who survived and won the #VPDebate.

Monette Rivera ‏
Monette Rivera Retweeted CNN
Moderator at #VPDebate : "The people at home cannot understand either one of you when you speak over each other”

FANHS Seattle ‏
FYI: FilAm @Elaine_Quijano is rocking the #VPDebate #FAHM2016 #fahm #FilipinoAmericanHistoryMonth #AsianAmericans @ligaya_but_mostly_chip

Dawn Bohulano Mabalon
No need to adjust your TV sets. Yes, that's a #FilipinaAmerican@Elaine_Quijano moderating this debate! #pinay #VPDebate #VPdebate2016

Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS)
Congrats Elaine Quijano- the 1st Filipina (and 1st Asian American) to moderate a major debate! Happy Filipino American History Month!#fahm2016

Rodel Rodis
So proud of Filipino American Elaine Quijano.

S Delen Retweeted
Bridget ‏@bridget_koval 
Ma girl @Elaine_Quijano needs to host the next presidential debate, she is doing an amazing job keeping these bozos in line #VPDebate

W. Kamau Bell
That was the nicest way I've ever heard someone tell people to shut eff up. Way to go, @Elaine_Quijano! #VPDebate

Nicholas Kristof 
Good to see @Elaine_Quijano asking the candidates in#VPDebate about the slaughter in Syria.

Huffington Post
Line of the night, from Elaine Quijano: "I will remind you both that this question was about North Korea" #VPDebates

The Hollywood Reporter's post-VP debate piece: "VP Debate Moderator Elaine Quijano Praised by Twitter Users" highlighted this tweet:

Hari Kondabolu 
An Asian American Woman telling two old white dudes when to talk..I LOVE IT. #VPDebate

CBS News's story right after the debate declared Quijano, one of its digital news anchors as "the early winner" of the VP match-up, highlighting admiration from many Twitter users including:

Dan Rather
Moderator @Elaine_Quijano does well by pointing out @GovPenceIN didn't answer the question about @realDonaldTrump and taxes

The story also included some criticism, citing that "there were some who claimed Quijano let the two men talk over each other and her too."

Elaine Quijano is losing control, plain and simple. The men just keep talking over each other

Media Matters meanwhile zeroed in on her question on the national debt in their piece: "Debate Moderator Elaine Quijano Falsely Equates The Impact Of Trump And Clinton’s Economic Plans On The National Debt." The web-based, progressive research and information center explains that Quijano presented a false equivalency when she said during the October 4 vice presidential debate that the economic plans of both Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “would add even more” to “the growing $19 trillion national debt” and asked whether such debt increases “could be disastrous for the country.

Several Filipino-American and Philippine media have extensively covered Quijano's historic role in moderating the US vice-presidential debate for several weeks leading to the broadcast, including:

Fil-Am news anchor to moderate US vice presidential debate

"BALITANG AMERICA" [News in America] - ABS-CBN International- The Filipino Channel:

Vice-Presidential Showdown An Historic Debate Featuring Fil-Am Moderator

Asian Journal:

Fil-Am news anchor to moderate VP debate