Your presidential picks: Adam Silver, Stacey Abrams
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“You can nominate any US citizen for a term as President,” I wrote earlier this week, “as long as your choice has never been a presidential candidate before. Who do you appoint to the White House and why?Among the politicians, Jared Polis, the governor of Colorado, was mentioned the most.Former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels and former representative Stacey Abrams were also asked.
But we talk all the time about politicians seeking higher positions, so I’m going to focus on more unexpected choices. Their names are less interesting than the attributes that different correspondents want in a president.
Nancy takes us away from politicians with the adjacent choice of Michelle Obama:
She is brilliant, pragmatic and fearless.
Its greatest success would be to bring real people back into the discussion (i.e. regular people who aren’t old white men or people spouting lies because it seems safer).
Its greatest failure would be not being able to prevent the Supreme Court from devastating the rights of people to control their own lives (women, non-Cis, non-Christians).
Austin makes the case for public radio host Kai Ryssdal, highlighting parts of his resume I’ve never heard of:
Born in the United States, but raised partly overseas. MA in National Security Studies from Georgetown. [Flew] aircraft out of US Navy aircraft carriers. Pentagon staff officer. US Foreign Service. Excellent communication skills, as heard on his hit radio show Marketplace, where he breaks down the foreign and domestic economy and markets. After leaving the Navy, he would bike to a Borders for $7 an hour. He has an incredibly impressive resume with real-world experience in national security, international relations, China politics, US military policy, economics, and markets. Plus, he knows what it’s like to have a real job like the rest of us. And he speaks Chinese! It’s enormous. I would be behind him any day of the week.
Jeremy would name Adam Silver, the current NBA commissioner:
He has intellectual power: Duke, Chicago Law School, law clerk in the Southern District of New York, then worked at Cravath. Outside of our politicized Congress, labor relations in sports could be one of the most contentious, thorny and polarized arenas, and to date Silver has navigated it in a way that his predecessor has not. could and that other stewards cannot. Additionally, he has a proven track record in public speaking and is able to communicate effectively in a variety of areas (i.e. facing the public, labor negotiations, and maintaining his property).
Chris does not yet know who it would be, but prefers to finally have a female president, and a younger one too:
I would expect this person to be under 60 or even 50. I don’t understand the country’s misplaced trust in older white men. Looking at the framers, very few were of advanced age… So I would look for someone younger, with a bold vision and, above all, some interest in the future – not ten or twenty, but 50 or 60 additional life expectancy. Our most pressing existential issues, like climate change, require someone to invest concretely in tomorrow, not just today or in the past.
Russell chose one of my favorite public intellectuals:
I would like to appoint Tyler Cowen as president. Besides being a super-rationalist, we should give him a chance to practice his idea of state-capacity libertarianism. He’s also one of the best talent identifiers possibly on Earth, so we know we’d have a dream team administration, likely made up of heterodox thinkers with diverse and opposing opinions who could rattle everyone out of complacency. Finally, he carefully managed to avoid being labeled as particularly associated with either party, so popular opinion may not know what to make of it all, giving the Cowen administration a chance to chart a new course, independent of established partisan biases. Magical thinking? Maybe, but none the less we have imbued our politics now.
Amber would choose herself:
I couldn’t screw it up any worse. My greatest contributions would be an end to mass incarceration…and the return of American manufacturing through proper regulation and a simplified licensing and red tape structure. The reason everything is made in China is that American manufacturing requirements are… special. It’s enough to make you want to do something else, like write to a guy Atlantic.
I would not respond to the whims of billionaires, because I would be elected to represent all the people. We have antitrust laws for a reason. Contrary to popular opinion, our democracy belongs to us. Maybe if we stop electing the rich, we can do things like demand a living wage.
Christopher would pick the former Disney CEO:
I think Bob Iger would be an effective chair. He wouldn’t win an election or a nomination, but your question isn’t who would be the best candidate. Iger has shown how he can skillfully manage a large, complex organization with various competing agendas and personalities, and during crises. And not just nationally but internationally.
He has that mixture of technocrat and visionary that could be useful in a president, and seems to be decent. Few people could develop productive relationships with people as diverse as Steve Jobs, Rupert Murdoch and Roy Disney. He is also interested in politics, but is not an ideologue. I don’t know if he’s a big, charismatic figure, but it certainly takes leadership to run an organization as large as Disney so effectively for so long.
And Tung would make “The Rock” president:
Dwayne Johnson. He is super charismatic and very positive and uplifting in his personality. He comes across as relatively humble and decent, so that would be quite a contrast to Biden and Trump.
Thank you to everyone who emailed this week, and see you Wednesday.