Kristen Welker Is Ready to Break Barriers

I’ve already been in a number of the early voting states, and we see it in the polls, but you feel it when you’re out on the campaign trail. This is a country that is deeply divided. And so it’s a huge challenge and responsibility to be a journalist in this era and to be making sure that we are getting people accurate information that they need and answers to the questions that they have that impact their lives and their family’s lives.

A lot of people are feeling a sense of dread and anxiety about 2024. I know the prevailing thought among my peer group about 2024 is “Oh gosh, how are we going to get through this?” I’m curious if you have any advice for keeping grounded and how people can practice self-care while still being engaged in the election.

KW: Look, I think it is important to stay informed. Whether you’re a journalist or a banker or a lawyer, we all have a responsibility to stay informed to be a part of this community. I also think it is important to make sure that you take time to step away. When I’m with my family, I put my phone down, I focus on my daughter, I focus on my husband, I focus on what we’re doing. Making sure that you are focused on what matters and what makes you feel good is important, as is taking moments to step away from the discussion and the debate and reading a million articles every day. I think that’s important for people all across this country; whether it’s this election cycle or any election cycle, it’s really that balance. Now, as moderator of Meet the Press, I will continue to be reading all of those articles to make sure that I’m staying on top of everything. But for voters, it’s okay to inform yourself and then take those moments where you step away from the public discourse and just focus on your family.

Speaking of family, I won’t ask you how you “do it all,” because we all know that is a myth. But I think it’s inspirational to other working parents when someone such as yourself has such a big, public-facing role and is also vocal about being a mom. [Welker has a two-year-old daughter, Margot.] Do you have any tips for how to maintain that balance between home and work?

KW: It is an ongoing challenge, I think, for every working mom and every working parent. And you hit the nail on the head. I think the key to it is sharing our stories with each other, making sure that you have a strong and supportive community around you, whether it’s friends, family, neighbors, to help you as you are raising your child. This is how I approach it. When I am at work, I am focused on work. I’m 100% engaged because I want Margot to be proud of me. I want her to look up to me one day and say, “Wow, my mom did a great job at a profession she really cared about.” And then when I’m with Margot, I’m 100% focused on Margot. She’s the center of my universe. Everything that I do, quite frankly, is for her. I think it’s keeping all of that in mind and keeping all of that in perspective.