Megyn Kelly, the host of Fox News Channel’s “America Live” will co-anchor coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions. Following is a transcript of a conversation we had in the Fox News Channel sky box inside the Tampa Bay Forum.
Todd: Some pundits believe that political conventions are outdated and a waste of time.
Megyn: I think that’s completely misguided. This is an opportunity, for in particular Mitt Romney, who has been subjected to so much negative advertising. For once he can stand up there and speak directly to the American people — then they can size up the candidate for themselves.
I think the country knows Barack Obama by this point and they love him or they don’t love him. But they don’t know Mitt Romney as well. So to say this is not an opportunity or a waste of time for him is just not true.
Megyn: I think we can cover it all. Depending on how big this storm gets, it can share screen time with the Republican National Convention. What’s happening nationally in terms of unemployment, the debt, and the other issues that are saddling a lot of Americans right now — they are equally important to folks around the country.
While they worry about their friends down on the Gulf Coast, they also worry about their own families and their economic situation and their futures. We have an obligation to provide them the update on this Republican candidate who wants to take over the Oval Office.
Todd: Explain how you take what is essentially “inside baseball” political happenings and make it relevant for folks in those so-called “fly-over states”?
Megyn: It helps for me personally not to be inside the Beltway. I can come in to a convention like this — I wouldn’t say I’m quite at 10,000 feet because I do this every day, but I think I’m a little closer to the average American on politics than if I lived my life inside the Beltway. So I’ll bring that perspective to them.
But I think a lot of our viewers are actually pretty sophisticated and have been following this race pretty closely. I think some level of assumed familiarity is okay for us and we go from there.
Todd: What’s it like to cover a story like this?
Megyn: It’s great. The energy in this hall — and I’m sure it will be the same next week with the Democrats in Charlotte — is palpable. You can feel how excited everyone is.
As a journalist covering a big event like this — I mean this is like the Super Bowl, right? This is what everybody’s been waiting for — even more so than election night where you actually get results. Seeing the process unfold, seeing the party faithful on the floor of both conventions is truly energizing.
Having said all of that — I miss my kids.