Request a Female Moderator for Presidential Debate

Target: Commission on Presidential Debates

Goal: Let a woman moderate at least one of the 2012 presidential debates

Twenty years have passed since a woman last took the stage to moderate a presidential debate. In 1992, Carole Simpson of ABC News was given the honor of moderating the second debate between candidates George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot. Although PBS anchor Gwen Ifill moderated two vice presidential debates (Dick Cheney and John Edwards of 2004 and Joe Biden and Sarah Palin of 2008), Simpson remains the first minority and only woman moderator of a presidential debate in U.S. history.

Simpson stood as a beacon of hope to many when she became the first African-American woman to anchor a major news network in 1974 after joining NBC News. Her achievements and successes made her a prime option as a moderator in 1992, and with many women following in her footsteps today, a significant amount of people are finding it difficult to believe that there has not been a woman moderator of a presidential debate in twenty years. Montclair High School students Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis from New Jersey, for example, have launched a petition of their own in the hopes of gaining enough to make a request of the Commission on Presidential Debates. Their suggestions for potential moderators include Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and Rachel Maddow.

As the first presidential debate is scheduled for October 3 in Colorado, the second for October 16 in New York, and the third for October 22 in Florida, there is plenty of time left to find a suitable female moderator for at least one of them. Sign the petition now to ask the Commission on Presidential Debates to allow a woman to moderate at least one of the three presidential debates between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney in October 2012.


Dear Commission on Presidential Debates,

The United States is the land of equal opportunity, and as such, I was mystified to hear that there has not been a woman moderator for a presidential debate since Carole Simpson moderated between candidates George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot in 1992. Although Gwen Ifill presided over two vice presidential debates (2004 and 2008), it has been too long since a woman moderated at least one presidential discussion.

Asking a woman to moderate between President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney for at least one of the scheduled presidential debates in October 2012 would send a clear message to the American public regarding your views on sexism. It is time that the public is reassured that women do, in fact, have equal opportunities in this country, and it is time that influential women in today’s society are given the opportunity to partake in an event that has, for the most part, been dominated by men.

Please allow a female moderator for at least one of the presidential debates in October 2012. You will find that prestigious female anchors such as Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, and countless others would do a magnificent job. Furthermore, you will assure the American public of your commitment to staying away from gender discrimination, a message that is very critical in this day and age.


[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

  • Only your name will be displayed. By signing, you accept our terms and may receive updates on this and related causes.
FacebookCare2 NewsTwitterEmailShare

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Facebook Comments


67 Signatures

  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ann Blank
  • Ann Blank
  • Eveline Mutsaerts
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
  • Debbie Biere
  • Carole Mathews
  • Amy Wilson
  • Amy McKeon
1 of 7123...7
Skip to toolbar