Slideshow: 15 people I'd prefer to vote for, for President

Slideshow: 15 people I'd prefer to vote for, for President

Summary: With the election only three weeks away, it's becoming clear that I'm going to need to pick a horse to ride really soon. ZDNet Government's David Gewirtz has been finding himself day-dreaming about the people he'd prefer to vote for, if he were given the chance.


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  • Mark Zuckerberg

    I have made no secret of my general distaste for Facebook, but Zuckerberg has proven he can unite the world. With about a billion users, Zuckerberg and Facebook have probably brought together more people on Planet Earth than anyone else in history. Given that we're so polarized in this country as it is, any unifying influence is a good thing.

    Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons and Brian Solis.

  • R. Lee Ermey

    If we can't all just get along by judicious use of social media, maybe former Marine Corps drill instructor "Gunny" R. Lee Ermey could whip us in shape. Americans (many of us are quite out of shape as it is) could benefit from Sarge's no-nonsense approach to getting things done. Besides, he'd scare the heck out of most politicians now in Washington.

    Image courtesy United States Marines.

  • Josiah Bartlett

    Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and sometimes fiction is more comforting than truth. Josiah Bartlett (the TV character, not the actual Declaration signatory) served as fictional President of the United States for seven years. While he was decidedly liberal, he was also tough and fair -- and sure seemed a lot more like what a President should be than what we're going to have to choose from in November.

    Image of Martin Sheen courtesy United States Navy.

Topics: Government, Government US


David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Charlie vs. Ron

    Were I forced to choose between Ron Paul and Charlie Sheen I don't know how I'd pull it off without suffering a nervous breakdown. It would be a kinda "Spohie's Choice in reverse" moment. I'm not sure who would do more damage to the country: Charlie Sheen sharing the presidenial master bedroom with his two "goddesses" while snorting lines of coke in the oval office or Ron Paul, devolving the country into an anarcho-capitalist playground for the rich, and a free-market gulag for the rest of us.
    • Have you been living under a rock?

      If you don't think the current state of the economy isn't a playground right now for the Wall Streeters, politicians/banks, and the federal reserve, I think you just might be served well by doing lines with Charlie Sheen.

      You call it devolution, some call it revolution, but we need to go back to our roots - I don't think anyone here would disagree with the fact that we are on the wrong path right now as a nation, and things will only continue to get worse without real change.
  • Why limit yourself to an individual?

    Consider supporting the writers and comedians, both current and past, of Saturday Night Live as President. This way you can have all of your choices rolled into one. And their running mates? The writers and 'characters' of the Simpsons. Because, sometimes, a cartoon does it best.

    At least we'll all die laughing (well, OK, in some cases, crying) as we sink beneath the waves ...

    P.S. Last I heard, you still have the option to write-in any name you like for President.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • "-- I still find myself disliking both choices."

    Same here. BOTH are useless twits.

    Sad thing is, that anyone with integrity & common sense will not run for President. And those two qualities sorely are lacking in 99.99999999% of ALL politicians.

    What we need is a good old fashioned "Benevolent Despot" running the show. ;-)
    • Do you have some candidates in mind?

      Be warned, though, that the history of nations led by coup leaders is not particularly glorious (Napoleon and Julius Ceasar probably the best of a bad lot). Hereditary monarchs actually work better, but we're a republic, so we citizens can't dodge our duty that way.
      John L. Ries
      • Is the U.S. still a Republic?
        "a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (Note: I cherry-picked definition 1b(1) as this is how things were supposed to work)

        And remember Benjamin Franklin (one of David's picks):

        "when asked by a passerby what sort of government the constitutional convention had formulated for the new nation, Benjamin Franklin memorably replied, “A republic, if you can keep it”.

        We've lost the republic IMO. Most elected representatives in Washington, D.C., are beholden to corporations and extremely wealthy citizens rather than the vast majority of individual citizens.

        It's highly unlikely that either a Democratic or Republican Presidential candidate will restore the Republic to its citizens any time soon.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
        • Asserting your victimhood?

          We're still responsible for how we cast our votes and otherwise use our influence (public opinion still matters). The system isn't perfect by any means, but I greatly prefer it to the most likely alternatives (a military dictatorship and a one party state).
          John L. Ries
          • Not at all

            "The system isn't perfect by any means, but I greatly prefer it to the most likely alternatives (a military dictatorship and a one party state).

            There are many citizens in the U.S., Ron Paul and Jim Hightower included, that have made statements on the order of "third party, we need a second party". [ZDNet won't let me provide the links but you can find them if you care to look.]

            Thus, many in the U.S. consider it to be a one party state today. Did you even notice the absence of "second party" Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates in the recently televised debates? The Green Party candidates were even arrested and detained at the most recent Presidential debate at Hofstra University.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • Or, stated another way ...

            Voting Democratic or Republican at the national level, in most cases, doesn't mean a whole lot because either way the corporations win.
            Rabid Howler Monkey
          • Vote for individuals...

            ...not parties. But don't vote for coup plotters, as that inevitably works out badly, as demonstrated by the recent history of Venezuela, and the somewhat less recent history of Germany.
            John L. Ries
  • Oprah

    I realize she doesn't have much experience with all the different responsibilities, but let's be completely honest- the person we elect (red, blue, or otherwise) is way more of a puppet these days than decades/centuries ago.

    She's one of the most respected people and a name that is well known, liked, and respected world wide. Of course, the same people that think the world is 5-6k years old, complain we need to improve our science test scores while ignoring everything science says, etc. won't vote for her because she's an African American female.
    • She certainly knows how to conduct an interview

      But could she manage Congress and the federal bureacracy?
      John L. Ries
      • Oprah Would Not Have to Manage by Herself.... least, she is one person who could get the citizens to lobby their elected Congressional representatives to vote as the citizenry asks. That alone would at least confuse the moneyed lobbiers, if not stop them altogether on an issue or two. What a shock to the folks who are used to buying Senators and Reprentatives! Ha ha!
        v r
        • History has shown...

          ...that strong political skills are essential to being an effective President and strong management skills are almost as important. Ms. Winfrey has never really been in a position to acquire the first, though she might well have the second.

          If you think about the better U.S. presidents (regardless of your political views), I think you'll discover that nearly all were experienced politicians and the ones that weren't (Eisenhower, for example) had strong political skills acquired by other means.
          John L. Ries
  • You could have at least...

    thrown Gary Johnson in there since he is on the Presidential Ballot in 47 states.
    • Only if he prefers him

      I actually don't, though I like him better than the other third party candidates and unlike the usual run, he has relevant political experience.
      John L. Ries
  • the choice is clear for this election

    Now only Mitt Romney can save the USA from the socialist and antiamerican crooks!
    The real Americans would have preffered Sarah Palin, but Mitt should do it with his 5 point plan!
    LlNUX Geek
    • Wow

      You really cranked the crazy to 11 this time, didn't you?
      Michael Alan Goff
  • Get real

    Anyone who is actually going to vote already knows who they are going to vote for. The supposed "undecided" voters are just looking for attention. They need to put their big girl panties on and deal with reality. For better or worse, your choice is Obama or Romney. They are completely different people, have completely different management styles, and have completely different philosophies, so if you still claim you can't make up your mind at this stage, maybe you shouldn't be voting.
    • Right

      It could be that many of us are having a hard time choosing because we really don't like any of the choices (third party candidates included), but still feel duty bound to vote. It's also true that not everybody's political opinions fall neatly along party lines (as much as it annoys the usual gang of political operatives), so that doesn't necessarily help.

      So unless you profess telepathic skills and can really tell us what we're all thinking, it's best to keep your dubious psychological theories to yourself.
      John L. Ries