The American public, it seems, is really missing Jon Stewart. More than 200,000 fans of the former “Daily Show” host, including Maryland Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, have signed a petition on Change.org, calling for Stewart to moderate one of the 2016 presidential debates.
“Jon Stewart is more than qualified to tackle the moderating job,” the petition, which has, over the last two weeks, gathered over 211,000 signatures, states. “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.”
Stewart, who stepped down as the host of the “Daily Show” earlier this month, established himself as one of the most trusted voices in the U.S. during his 16-year career. According to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, over 52 percent of the respondents believe that Stewart “generally shares” their view of the world on “some or most issues” — a fact highlighted in the petition.
“We ask that the Commission on Presidential Debates consider and provide the opportunity to Mr. Stewart to host one of the three major presidential debates directly preceding the 2016 election,” the petition, addressed to the nonprofit that organizes the presidential debates, states. “Choosing Jon Stewart would be a popular choice among voters.”
— Martin O’Malley (@MartinOMalley) August 20, 2015
The petition was started by Mariel Waters, a high school teacher in New Jersey, on Aug. 6, the day Stewart stepped down from the “Daily Show.”
“It’s a very important election in 2016. We’d love for him to come back and perform this service for us,” Waters told NJ.com Friday. “For the past 16 years, he’s been a great voice for so many people. He may have left ‘The Daily Show,’ but we still need him.”
However, it is not yet clear whether Stewart, who has interviewed President Barack Obama three times since 2008, would be interested in moderating a presidential debate. In an interview with the Guardian in April, Stewart said that the prospect of the upcoming election was one of the factors that motivated him to leave the show.
“I’d covered an election four times, and it didn’t appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this one,” he said.