Needed: A Billionaire Candidate for President Who Shares the Views of a Washington Post Columnist

Writing in the Washington Post, Matt Miller wants a billionaire to run for president and “save the country.”

We already have two billionaires running for president. (OK, not really. Romney has a mere quarter of a billion bucks, and it’s Huntsman’s dad, not Huntsman himself, who’s the billionaire in that family.) And, according to all reports, NYC mayor Bloomberg would run for president in an instant if he thought he’d have a chance of winning.

So we should amend Miller’s article to say that he wants a billionaire presidential candidate who (a) shares the political views of a “senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and co-host of public radio’s “Left, Right, and Center” and (b) has a chance of winning. That shouldn’t be too hard to find, right?

Hey, I have an idea! MIller writes that that Thomas Friedman just wrote a book arguing that “the right independent candidacy could provide for our dysfunctional politics presents an unrivaled opportunity.” Friedman’s actually in a billionaire family himself, so why can’t Miller talk him into running? He could get even more campaign funds by trading in all those frequent flyer miles.

Alternatively, we could just cut out the middleman and just give Miller a billion dollars and a major party nomination directly. How bout it, Bill Gates? Pete Peterson? C’mon, it’s only a billion dollars. Just make the donation, you’ll never notice the difference. If Miller wins the election, he’ll do his best to make the contribution retroactively tax-deductible.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

Andrew Gelman

Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University.