The idea: That the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist should make a run at the presidency as an independent.
Why it makes sense: As the former CEO of Microsoft and the current co-chair of one of the largest charitable foundations in the world, Bill Gates has a proven track-record of financial competence and genuine altruism. He thinks seriously about the relationship between government and business, and would likely to be viewed as a largely non-ideological candidate capable of working across the aisle.
Moreover, according to polling conducted by Fieldum Partners, Bill Gates is considered more “competent” than any other American. With 100% name recognition, 28% of voters say they would “definitely” support him – and that’s before even a solitary second of campaigning.
Could it happen? Despite possessing the requisite popularity and finances, Gates has made it clear that he has no intention to run for president. In a recent Reddit AMA, he explained that his position on the prospect of mounting a run for White House:
I like my current job at the Foundation better than I would being President. Also I wouldn’t be good at doing what you need to do to get elected. I thought Michael Bloomberg was thoughtful about why it didn’t make sense for him to try and run even though he is a great executive.
Likelihood of happening: 1-5% (break glass in case of an emergency).