Is Elaine Quijano a Democrat? Here’s what we know about her political views

Ahead of the first presidential debate, moderator Lester Holt’s party alignment as a Republican received a good amount of attention, mostly because Republican nominee Donald Trump claimed the debate would be rigged since he thought Holt was a Democrat. But for Tuesday’s first and only vice presidential debate, which will feature a showdown between Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine and Trump’s veep pick, Mike Pence, the CBS News moderator’s political party remains mysterious. Nonetheless, many people are still wondering: is Elaine Quijano a Democrat?

Quijano will be the youngest journalist to moderate a national debate ever since Judy Woodruff served in the role at age 41 in 1988, and, as a Filipina, will be the first Asian-American national debate moderator, too. But her age and ethnic background don’t necessarily dictate her political leanings, and her many years of covering the White House, elections, and overseas affairs in the Middle East ultimately reveal little about where she stands on the issues.

Quijano has expressed criticism of the Obama administration when, in 2011, she cited its failure to send condolence letters to families of military personnel who had committed suicide. Meanwhile, conservative-leaning outlets have previously put Quijano on blast for expressing support for immigration reform on air. (So, right off the bat, we know there’s something she disagrees with Trump on.)

Quijano’s years of experience as a journalist include covering the White House under the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and traveling to report on events in Kabul, Kuwait City, and Islamabad, while she worked for CNN. Throughout this particular election season, working for CBS, Quijano has covered primary debates and reported on both the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

As Holt chose the topics of the first presidential debate and wrote the questions asked throughout the night, the Commission on Presidential Debates gives moderators full leave to, unless the debate purposefully includes questions drawn from social media users. That being said, the topics Quijano picks and questions she writes could speak a lot to the issues that are important to her, and where she chooses to hit Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with questions challenging their records and stances could speak to what her own stances are. However, the evening’s topics have yet to be announced.

You can watch the debate this Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 9 p.m. ET on literally every major cable channel, or stream it on YouTube, Facebook Live, or Twitter if you don’t have a TV.