Barney's Rubble

Bill for President

Is it time for Gates in 2008?

Every four years pundits, radio talk show hosts and U.S. citizens beg for a presidential candidate who’s not a career politician.

And every four years the two major parties nominate -- you guessed it -- career politicians!

No true, non-political alternatives have the party backing, or, it seems, the ability to connect and gain our trust. I guess voters don’t mind career politicians after all.

Donald Trump is too full of himself (but Letterman would have great material), Ross Perot was too preachy and weird, and Arnold is too foreign (meaning he legally can’t run; not that I’m against Austrians).

DougCampaigningHere’s a name that could overcome all these obstacles: Bill Gates. Not the old Bill Gates spouting technology, wearing ill-fitting clothes and crushing competitors for sport (though his company is doing this with relish and third parties are paying the price). No. I’m talking about the new Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

As far as I can tell, Gates has not pledged allegiance to either party (probably the only thing he and I have in common). In 2004 Gates gave only $22,500 to candidates with a slight edge to Democrats. For someone with Gates’ pockets, this is as close to giving nothing as you can get!

I mentioned this idea to my mother and her eyes opened wide (the way they did every time my high school assistant principal called) and she exclaimed "Wow!" After a few seconds of thought she said "Wow" again.

Bill has no major skeletons (I’m guessing) and has taken non-political, purely rational stances on today’s major issues.

Who would you trust to develop a policy on global warming?

Who is today’s best ambassador to the third world, to India, to China?

But Bill has no experience in foreign policy! True, but neither did the governor of Georgia, California, Arkansas or Texas.

Imagine if our fundamental approach to the world was based on logical approaches to curing disease, spreading opportunity, saving the environment and teaching children.

A foreign policy flowing from this river would be rich indeed.

Imagine offering our enemies all of these benefits.

Would Iran rather have nukes or freedom from disease? Maybe they’ll go for the A-bombs, but will all regimes react the same? I doubt it.

And remember, Bill promised to retire in two years, just in time for his new job in 2008.

We’ll just have to live with a total gutting of U.S. anti-trust laws!

Who are you going to vote for? Let me know at

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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Reader Comments:

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Mon, Oct 16, 2006 Timothy Raleigh, NC

Perhaps when he was younger he would be cut throat enough for politics. Mr. Gates is now showing a softer side with his humanitarian causes. He and his family would be torn to shreds if he tried to run. It's the sad truth in politics. He probably wouldn't be too bad. He certainly is a lot more competitent than the Bush Dynasty of Kings. He would at least attempt to talk and negotiate with the rest of the world before starting a war. And he would certainly do whatever he could to eliminate the "digital divide" (that is his cause, afterall). But, alas, what we will get is a bunch of double talking greedy career politicians and we'll be forced, yet again, to vote for the "best of the worst" instead of the best of the best. I still maintain that a corrupt politician against global warming and for habeus corpus is better than one for the oil companies and against due process, so you can guess which direction I'm voting.

Fri, Oct 13, 2006 gregg Minneapolis

Gates is too smart unless his ego tricks him to do it. I would vote for Gates over Hillary and most of the GOP NEOCONS.

Fri, Oct 13, 2006 David Redmond

Sure Doug, I’ll vote for Bill. But only if he runs as a Libertarian. It would be the best chance the Libertarian party ever had, and Bill could thereby avoid having to pledge allegiance to the dregs of public policy proffered by both major parties.

Fri, Oct 13, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

The US already tries to act like it has a monopoly on the world, so Bill Gates should have no trouble stepping into the position. Who else is really more experienced today? Additionally, if he could get the finances of the country in line with those of Microsoft, then we might have reason to let the US act like a monopoly. Personally, I'd like to see what a non-politician could do for this country.

Fri, Oct 13, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

Yeah, but you'd have to re-install him more often than you think!

Fri, Oct 13, 2006 Russ Anonymous

Well the good news would be he wouldn't easily be bought by anyone in or out of Washington or anyplace else.

And if a small country was a problem he could just personally buy them. Or better yet, give everyone in that country a free computer and that will keep them busy (applying patches and updates, checking email, deleting spam, etc).

I wonder if a goverment that needed to be rebooted every 4 years would be good. Clearing the govt cache could be good. Clearing memory of old issues seems like it would be good also.

Fri, Oct 13, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

Great idea, yet another power mad bloody yank with his finger on the nuclear button. What's his first act going to be? ban apple and linux.

Just pledge allegiance to you rightful head of state King George III (and I don't meanBush)

Thu, Oct 12, 2006 william california

Great idea! And he could run as an third party candidate and really shake up the system! He could even take up the nickname "Pearly" to appeal to the christian conservatives.

Thu, Oct 12, 2006 Bennopia Australia

Bill doesn't need to become president. Thanks to his operating system he has a greater impact on his fellow Americans and the world than George Bush! Unlike George Bush he would be popular with recalcitrant nations like North Korea because even they would be using his operating systems!

I would say that his foreign policies are better than George Bush's because countries like North Korea and Iran are embracing his message. Unfortunately they aren't listening to George's. I think George and his team have many lessons to learn from Bill. For example, Bill had a valid passport when he assumed his position as leader of Microsoft. George didn't when he assumed his position as leader of the United States of America.

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