Susan Page is the moderator for the 2020 vice presidential debate, as Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris face off for the first time. Is Page a Democrat or a Republican? What are her political beliefs? Page has been adept at keeping her political beliefs out of her reporting and not talking about them publicly. Here is what we know about what she believes.
Page is the USA Today Washington Bureau chief. She said about being chosen to moderate tonight’s debate: “The debates are a crucial part of making our democracy work, and I am honored to participate.”
Notably, Page is the first print reporter that the Commission on Presidential Debates has chosen as a solo moderator, USA Today reported.
Page told USA Today that her focus for this debate is making it “a chance for American voters to take a look at these two candidates and see both what they think of them personally and what they think about their policy ideas. That is my North Star in thinking about this.”
A Susan L. Page of the same age and birth date has a voter registration in Washington, D.C., with an address matching Susan Lynn Page of USA Today. Her voter registration does not list any party affiliation.
Page started her career as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Long Island, New York, after serving as editor-in-chief of Northwestern’s Daily Northwestern college newspaper. She also has a master’s from Columbia and was a Pulitzer Fellow. She joined Newsday’s Washington Bureau and covered the presidential race in 1980. During that time, she was a substitute host for NPR call-in program The Diane Rehm Show, which she has said helped prepare her for the debate tonight.
Throughout her career, she’s covered 10 presidential elections and interviewed nine presidents and has been awarded the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency twice, Vogue reported.
She’s a Biographer of Barbara Bush & Nancy Pelosi
Page has written biographies about both Republican and Democratic political leaders. The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty was published in 2019. She is working on the final chapter of Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power, she told USA Today.
In 2018, She Hosted a Reception for a New Trump Appointee, but USA Today Said It Was Common for Female Journalists to Honor Women’s Milestones
In 2018, Page came under some scrutiny when she hosted a reception for Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator and a Trump appointee, Vogue reported. Verma’s agency paid for part of the “girl’s night out” event, which violated a governmental rule that taxpayer dollars can’t be used for social gatherings. USA Today said Page didn’t know CMS had been billed, and it wasn’t unusual for female journalists to host events for recognizing milestones reached by other women, The Washington Post reported.
Her Husband Was Previously Married to a Former Finance Communications Director With the RNC
Page’s husband, Carl Philipp Leubsdorf, is a journalist and columnist. He’s currently a Washington columnist for the Dallas Morning News. Leubsdorf was previously married to Carolyn Stockmeyer, who was once the finance communications director for the Republican National Committee from 1982 to 1989, and publications editor for the Agriculture Department during Bush’s administration. Stockmeyer and Leubsdorf divorced, and she later died of cancer at the age of 67 in 1999.
While Page doesn’t discuss her political beliefs openly, she has shared her experiences sheltering at home with her husband through her social media.
Page’s Husband Once Wrote That Trump Was ‘Banned’ From Thanksgiving Discussions in Their Family
In a 2018 column, Leubsdorf wrote any discussion about Trump was banned for “the second straight year” from their holiday family discussions. He wrote that his family had its political divisions like so many others, “though we’re hardly evenly divided.”
Leubsdorf wrote that some of Trump’s comments at the time “recalls the ugliness of civil rights opponents I witnessed firsthand as a reporter in New Orleans nearly 60 years ago.”
He did not say what his wife’s particular political beliefs were, however.
Leubsdorf has written a bit about the family’s political encounters, without revealing Page’s preferences. In 2018, he wrote that John McCain was great at burying old rivalries, noting that both McCain and his first wife showed up at a book party that he and Page held for a friend, and there was no bitterness between the two.
He wrote that George Bush was an honorable president who had once invited him and Page to dinner and theater.