The Internet Wants Jon Stewart to Be America’s Next President

At the conclusion of Thursday’s disastrous presidential debate, late-night viewers turned their attention to Jon Stewart—and for more than just his live coverage of the evening’s big event.

Persistent pleas for the part-time Daily Show host to run for president are cropping up in corners of the internet more fervently than ever.

“We need Jon Stewart to immediately run for president,” read one post on a subreddit devoted to the host. “This isn’t a joke. I am worried for our democracy.”

The statement sparked a flurry of replies. “I have a love/hate relationship with Jon Stewart,” wrote one commenter. “I love him for his political views and activism and hate him because he will not run for office.”

In the eyes of his fans, wrote another Redditor, Stewart offers the potential for “policy, pragmatism, wrapped in personality.”

The sentiment was one being freely shared on X (formerly Twitter), as well. “A Jon Stewart presidency would be interesting,” wrote one user. “Say what you want. Dude cares about facts. He cares about people. He cares about vets and first responders. At least he’d give a sh*t.”

A clip from Thursday’s live post-debate episode of The Daily Show has been spreading quickly on the social media site. Some have taken to reposting it with stumps for Stewart of their own.

Still, others—including Stewart fans—have been quick to dismiss the Jon-for-POTUS idea. “No, Jon Stewart is right where he needs to be,” replied one Redditor. “He’s the guy pointing out the sh*t. Who better could do it, besides John Oliver? We need as many of those guys on the sideline as we can get.”

Others have suggested that Stewart could get involved politically while still staying in his lane as an entertainer, suggesting he serve as a political consultant or debate moderator.

Whether they dream of him running for president or not, a good number of viewers eem to see Jon Stewart as America’s collective voice of reason. There’s even data to back that up.

In May, a poll found him to be among the most trusted personalities on TV—right up there with network news anchors such as Lester Holt and David Muir. (Stewart’s 57 percent approval rating actually put him a little bit ahead of CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell, who logged a 53 percent trust score.)

Given the political focus of his comedy as host of The Daily Show, the comedian/pundit is often viewed as a political figure of sorts. That image is compounded by the feeling among some voters that a celebrity would fare better on the Democratic ticket.

Stewart also has a long track record of getting involved in government issues in a non-comedic capacity. In 2019, he appeared before Congress to advocate for a bill granting medical benefits to 9/11 first responders. In 2022, he gave his outspoken backing to the PACT Act, which expanded healthcare benefits to military veterans who had been exposed to burn pits.

If Stewart were to actually throw his hat into the ring (don’t hold your breath), he wouldn’t be the late-night host to do so. Though it was all in jest, Stephen Colbert (while still hosting The Colbert Report) twice announced his plans to run for president—first in 2008, then again four years later.

In that latter instance, Colbert even opted to involve another Comedy Central host in his scheme when he transferred control of his super PAC, “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow,” to the one and only Jon Stewart.

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