Doug Barney Bill Gates for PresidentEvery 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).

Here’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

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the editorial director of Redmond Channel Partner magazine. You can contact Doug about “Bill for President” at The source of this article (first published on 1-oct-2006) is Article re-published with full permission of the author.

11 Responses to “Doug Barney: “Bill for President””  

  1. 1 Lucso

    Why not? We must brake some old paradigms…well, but i’m not a american…if George W. Bush may be president, Bill can do it too… xD…

  2. 2 Angelo of Italy

    Bill Gates for President? Is a good idea! :-)

  3. 3 Think4D

    One of the worst ideas in the history of bad ideas. Gates is the poster child for the “anything is permissible in the name of business” attitude which has unfortunately infected too many modern American corporations.

  4. 4 4himarks

    I would much rather see Linus Torvalds as president, but unfortunately he is no more eligible than Arnold. Maybe Mark Cuban?

  5. 5 bert

    Linus Torvalds?

    Seriously, even though I have great respect for Linus, what’s the logic behind that?

  6. 6 fsdsd

    Wow, that’s an incredibly stupid idea. Bill doesn’t have skeltons in his closet because they are on everyone’s computers.

  7. 7 bert

    WGT-Syndrome alert!

  8. 8 Steve

    Go Bill!

  9. 9 Edwin

    Might as well vote for lex luthor!

    but I think Bill Gates is a more good alternative than lets say Jed Bush?

    talking about a political dynasty here

  10. 10 Mike

    Jeb maybe???

  11. 11 Marc_In_Maryland

    Bill Gates runs for president and wins. OK, let’s see…
    A western White House near Redmond. OK, I can live with that.
    Every other week, minor and major fixes to the economy, defense, health, social security etc. would come out.
    White House would send press releases online and run a blog system for contacting any government agency.
    At the State of the Union address the White House would announce lots of new features for the economy, defense, social security, health, treasury, and INS.
    Every two to four years, the American people would have to re-validate their citizenship and identity as “Authentic Americans” to vote in national elections, obtain drivers licenses, and obtain or renew passports.
    Every American citizen would be required to personally enroll on-line to pay taxes and request other services in the government.
    Gate’s vast wealth could be used to reduce the national debt.
    I could see myself vote for him.

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