Nancy Cordes: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Nancy Cordes, Nancy Cordes CBS

Nancy Cordes’ and Barack Obama went to high school together. (Twitter/ Nancy Cordes)

Nancy Cordes, of CBS, will be moderating the Democratic debate tonight along with colleague, John Dickerson. She says her primary focus will be asking the candidates how they plan to make life better for average Americans, which is what voters want to hear about. She thinks it’s great there are only three candidates so they can get in-depth with their answers. Tune in to the second Democratic debate tonight from Des Moines, Iowa, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS to see how Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley answer Cordes’ questions.

Read on to learn more about Cordes here:


1. She’s CBS News’ Congressional Correspondent Based in Washington, D.C.

Nancy Cordes, Nancy Cordes CBS

Nancy Cordes has two children with her husband. (Twitter/ Nancy Cordes)

She originally joined CBS in 2007 as Transportation and Consumer Safety correspondent, where she covered the nation’s transportation infrastructure and safety issues.

She now holds the position of Congressional correspondent and is based in Washington, D.C. She assisted with CBS News’ coverage of the 2008 and 2010 congressional elections and traveled with the Obama campaign during the network’s coverage of Campaign 2012.

Her kids Lila and Noah think she works with the president instead of reporting about it, she tells The Hill.

“My kids think that I work with Barack Obama… They think that they can talk to me when they see me on TV. They will run up to the television when they see me and say, ‘Mommy, Mommy, I need to tell you something.’ ”


2. She Attended the Same High School as President Obama

Nancy Cordes

Cordes and Obama share more than a lifestyle surrounded by politics. The two actually went to the same high school. “I went to the same high school that President Obama went to. We had the same homeroom teacher all four years, just at different times,” says Cordes to The Hill.

Cordes went on to graduate magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995 and received a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

She then got her first reporting job at a Hawaii television station.


3. She Has Covered Hurricane Katrina, The War in Iraq and The 9/11 Attacks

Nancy Cordes, Nancy Cordes CBS

Nancy Cordes has been all over the country for her schooling and reporting but is now based in Washington, D.C. (Twitter/ Nancy Cordes)

Prior to working for CBS, Cordes worked for ABC News as a correspondent. She reported regularly for all ABC News shows, including Good Morning America, World News with Charles Gibson and Nightline. She first joined the network in 2003.

Some of the topics she has covered include pretty much everything from Hurricane Katrina, the war in Iraq, Middle East peace process, the death of President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II’s 25th anniversary, September 11th attack on the Pentagon.

The 2000 and 2004 Presidential race are also on her list of events she’s reported on while at ABC.


4. She Got to Go Inside Hillary Clinton’s ‘Scooby Van’

nancy cordes, nancy cordes CBS

Nancy Cordes of CBS will be moderating the second Democrat debate tonight. (Twitter/Nancy Cordes)

Cordes spoke to a group of University of Pennsylvania students, Penn alumni and members of the Philadelphia community about her experiences as a political reporter.

One of her favorite and most memorable moments from this year’s presidential campaign occurred while she was working on an assignment in Iowa— she got to go inside Clinton’s “Scooby” Van. Apparently Clinton calls it the “Scooby” Van because it reminded her of Scooby-Doo’s Mystery Machine.

Cordes was really excited about getting to go inside. She told the group that in any campaign,

“Crazy things are going to happen…This is the kind of unexpected discovery that political reporters dream of…It is our job as reporters to try and pull back the window or the curtain.”



5. She Grew Up in Hawaii and Had Her First Job at a Honolulu Television Station

Nancy Cordes, Nancy Cordes CBs

Dana Bash, Ashley Spillane, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Nancy Cordes, Rebecca Traitser and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel attend the ELLE and HUGO BOSS Women in Washington Power List Dinner. (Getty)

Cordes began her career as a reporter for KHNL-TV Honolulu, which is an NBC affiliate. She was a reporter there from 1995 to 1997. She grew up in Hawaii on the islands of Kauai and Oahu although she was born in Los Angeles.

She also claims she is a “terrific hula dancer,” most likely because of her upbringing in Hawaii.

Her former Hawaii lifestyle also helps her when reporting. “It helps to have that Hawaii laid-back attitude when people are constantly slinging barbs at each other on Capitol Hill,” says Cordes to The Hill. She went on to say she enjoys fantasizing about being back in Hawaii but she notes, “It doesn’t appear the U.S. Capitol will be moving there anytime soon.”



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