Why John Oliver Should Moderate The Next Debate

by Morgan Brinlee

The 2016 general election is in full swing with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump already preparing for the second presidential debate. But while we've known the Democratic and Republican nominees as presidential candidates since the summer, the insane amount of political theater infused in this election cycle has left some voters with more than a few questions about what the candidates' actual policy proposals are. With the election roughly a month away, we need a debate moderator capable of shutting down Clinton and Trump's tiresome exchange of insults right when they start, holding them accountable when they make false statements, and (perhaps most importantly) keeping them on topic — which is why John Oliver should moderate a presidential debate.

I'm not the first person to think Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight, would make a fantastic moderator for the presidential debates. It's an idea that has been repeatedly raised on Twitter and even inspired a petition on Throughout this year's utterly bizarre election (the GOP nominee is a reality TV star, it doesn't get stranger than that), Oliver has dug into numerous election issues to provide context, in-depth analysis, and a little humor. From the feasibility of Trump's border wall proposal to how primaries and caucuses undercut the democratic process to what the Democratic and Republican nominating conventions tell us about the state of the country's two major political parties.

While Oliver has never shied away from sharing his criticisms of Trump — even once urging the GOP nominee to "drop out" of the election — he routinely serves up bipartisan burns, digging into the shadowy details of the Clinton Foundation and Clinton's use of a private email server. As a debate moderator, he'd grill the candidates with tough, unbiased questions and likely be one of the few people able to keep Clinton and Trump from dodging questions.

Alas, while Oliver may be the debate moderator we all need, there's little chance he'll actually helm any of the remaining debates in this general election. Putting aside the fact that Trump would likely never agree to participate in a debate moderated by the man who once called him "a racist voodoo doll made of discarded cat hair," the Commission on Presidential Debates selected its moderators in early September and they're unlikely to change. Martha Raddatz of ABC, Anderson Cooper of CNN, and Chris Wallace of Fox News have already been named the moderators for the final two presidential debates, scheduled for Oct. 9 and Oct. 19. Elaine Quijano of CBS News will serve as moderator for the vice-presidential debate on Oct. 4.

Speaking of, have you registered to vote? If Oliver can teach us anything, it's that it's a crucial election year. You can register to vote below.