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6 moderators we want to see helm a Trump vs. Sanders debate

The prospect of Donald Trump taking on Bernie Sanders one-on-one is setting the Internet on fire. CNET's Eric Mack submits his own nominees to host such a spectacle.

What's an election year without Jon Stewart?


What started as a bit on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump debating Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders one-on-one may actually come to be.

Sanders and Trump are both saying in public that they welcome the idea of debating each other, though Trump says he'd like to see the network that hosts such a tussle pony up several million dollars for a charity in exchange for the privilege.

The prospect of the two outspoken "outsider" candidates taking each other on nearly caused the Internet and social media to melt down Thursday. (#BernieTrumpDebate spent time as a trending Twitter hashtag and GIFs abounded.) But we all need to keep our eyes on the ball here. If such a colossal clash of cultures is really going to happen, we need to be ready with a plan to make sure it goes down right.

Besides the candidates, the most important part of a great debate is the right moderator. So I've come up with a list of a half dozen of the best possible rhetorical referees. They aren't all exactly, um, real people, but a lot of things about this election don't seem entirely like reality, so it seemed fair to include them.

Jon Stewart - OK, so he probably leans a little more toward Bernie Sanders' perspective on many issues, but the former "Daily Show" host has never shied away from criticizing both parties and his sharp wit and commentary has been sorely, sorely missed during this campaign.

Mark Cuban - The outspoken Web 1.0 billionaire and "Shark Tank" star doesn't take much nonsense from anyone and he's been floated as a possibility for both vice president and president in the fantasies of more than one pundit. Bizarrely, he's been suggested as a viable running mate for both Hillary Clinton and Trump. Nothing screams must-see TV more than Cuban inviting Bernie and The Donald into his own personal Shark Tank to have each make the case that Cuban should invest his support in their respective parties or candidacies.

Andrew Sullivan - The popular conservative blogger isn't a fan of Sanders' ideas and he's certainly no fan of Trump either. Perhaps more than anyone, he'd be able to take both to task in a thoughtful way.


The best referee?


Tyrion Lannister - More than any other election, this campaign season has felt at times like we are living in Westeros. If we're in an electoral alternate reality, might as well get the most eloquent and entertaining character from another universe to moderate the most unreal of debates. While someone like Jon Snow or Dany Targaryen might be more interested in fairness, Tyrion would definitely be the most lively emcee.

Yoda - "Present a vision of America that is both inspirational and attainable, you must."

Data - To really keep these two in check is going to require someone, cool, calm, rational and logical. No one embodies that more while still remaining likable than Lt. Cmdr. Data from "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Oh yes, I went there. I'd take Patrick Stewart, too.

Of course, this debate is really about nothing more than grabbing attention for two candidates who both thirst for it right now. So we might as well go all out and turn this thing into a real spectacle by letting Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton moderate. She has so far refused to engage in any more debates until after the last primaries on June 7. But sitting comfortably right in the middle of a shouting Bernie and Donald and looking like the most reasonable person in the room might be a role she'd actually be willing to play.

Who do you think should moderate a debate between Trump and Sanders, should that come to be? Let us know in the comments.