Judge Judy is known for her acid tongue, lack of patience, and no-nonsense approach to disputes over everything from paternity tests to unruly dogs. Is that the kind of person you want moderating a presidential debate? You betcha, says Ogbonna Hopkins of Hyattsville, Maryland.
Hopkins has started a petition on the website Change.org to put Judge Judy Sheindlin behind the moderator's desk.
Tune in to ABCNews.com on Wednesday for livestreaming coverage of the first 2012 Presidential Debate from Denver, Colo. Coverage kicks off with ABC News' live preview show at noon, and full debate coverage begins at 8 p.m.
Here's how Hopkins makes her case: "There is no higher personification of common sense and fairness, coupled with the knowledge of the law," she writes.
Of course, unlike in her television courtroom, Judge Judy wouldn't be able to declare a post-debate winner (that job falls to the media), and she'd have to tone down her language. Only the campaigns can call each other the kind of names she uses for the plaintiffs and defendants in her courtroom.
Still, the popular judge would certainly be a big draw. Hopkins' idea, though, hasn't yet caught fire. Only 19 have signed onto her petition.
There's more support for another suggested moderator – comedian and political satirist Jon Stewart. That petition, by Sri Kavuru has garnered nearly 1,300 signatures calling for the Comedy Central host to pose questions to the men who would be the next president.
In his petition, Kavuru writes, "The country deserves to have him moderate a debate and ask the questions that this country wants answers to." One supporter agreed, writing that Stewart would "stir the pot and get some real answers out of the candidates."
Kavuru, a Los Angeles resident and self-described liberal, told ABCNews he's quite serious about his petition. He admits Stewart is also known for his left leanings, but calls him a straight–shooter.
"When Democrats are acting foolish he will call them out, and when Republicans are acting foolish he will call them out," he says. Stewart in the moderator's chair, he says, "would really engage people and change the tone of the debate."
Fellow Comedy Central veteran Steven Colbert has suggested himself as a fun moderator for the debates. As a guest co-host on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Colbert described what he called a fair way to decide which candidate gets the first question. "I would make them shoot rock-paper-scissors." (Instead, the tried and true coin toss is the preferred game of chance, and the Obama campaign won, so the president will be introduced first.)
The notion of petitioning the Commission on Presidential Debates took off earlier this year, when three teenage girls from New Jersey launched a campaign http://www.change.org/debate to push the commission to select a female journalist to moderate. The three said they were shocked to discover there hadn't been a female moderator for the presidential debate in two decades, ever since Carole Simpson posed the questions in 1992. In eight weeks, the petition racked up more than 120,000 signatures. The commission won't say whether that made a difference, but CNN's Candy Crowley was chosen to handle the second presidential debate, and ABC's Martha Raddatz will ask the questions in the only vice presidential debate.
The first face-off, tonight, falls to PBS's Jim Lehrer, who has 11 presidential debates under his belt. CBS's Bob Schieffer handles the final debate on Oct. 22.
Change.org has been awash in election petitions. There are petitions asking the moderators to ask questions on everything from climate change to Sudan to paid sick leave. There's even one petition calling on President Obama to hug Mitt Romney after every debate. That's about as likely as Judge Judy showing up with her white lace collar.