Petition Calling For Jon Stewart To Moderate A Presidential Debate Is Being Signed By Thousands

It’s no secret that in recent times, the way presidential debates have been conducted has left much to be desired. Debates are now less about hearing candidates discuss the issues, and more about moderators lobbing softball questions that the candidates can respond to with talking points. But a Clifton, New Jersey woman wants to change all of that, at least for one 2016 presidential debate.

Mariel Waters has started a petition at, calling for Jon Stewart to moderate one of the 2016 presidential debates. She explained her idea to New Jersey radio station NJ101.5. Waters says that she can’t take credit for the idea. There were two petitions in 2012 calling for Stewart to be a debate moderator. Neither of them drew many signatures. When Waters spoke to the radio station a couple of days ago, her petition looked like it was destined for the same fate as the ones from four years ago — it only had around 1,500 signatures.

But the internet works in mysterious ways, and, as of this writing, Waters’ petition now has nearly 86,000 signatures. Waters told NJ101.5 that she has promoted the idea on the “We want Jon Stewart to moderate a 2016 presidential debate” Facebook page. She also has a Twitter hashtag: #WeWantJon. The Facebook page only has 101 followers, but something has certainly ignited people’s interest in Waters’ idea. is reporting that the petition is currently the fastest growing petition on their site. They say that the number of signers has increased by over 1200 percent in just the past day.

Waters’ petition makes the following case for Stewart:

“Over the last 16 years, Jon Stewart has played an influential and iconic role in covering US politics and media. We believe he should continue that tradition as a moderator at one of the 2016 Presidential Debates.

Jon Stewart is more than qualified to tackle the moderating job. Mr. Stewart has interviewed 15 heads of state, 22 members of the United States Cabinet, 32 members of the United States Senate, 7 members of the United States House of Representatives, and scores of other political leaders from this country and around the world while establishing himself as the most trusted person in (satirical) news.”

In his time hosting The Daily Show, Stewart was known for calling out BS wherever and whenever he found it. Many on the right love to hate him, but Republican politicians as well as Democrats were regular guests, and his audience spanned the political spectrum (although the bulk was made up of independents and Democrats). What a breath of fresh air a debate featuring Jon Stewart would be.

If you would like to add your name to the growing number calling for Jon Stewart to be a presidential debate moderator, you can sign at

Featured image via Cliff/Flickr