Hillary, Newt, Barack in '08

On Blogs

so why not Bill Gates?

December 10, 2006|By Troy McCullough | Troy McCullough,Sun Columnist

Bill Gates for president in 2008? A new blog hopes so.

The bloggers behind the site, billgatesforpresident.net, say they have no connection to Gates and insist that they are serious. Microsoft's founder in chief would make a great commander in chief, they say.

"Please don't write this Web site off as a joke," the site states. "We are serious. We're not trying to make fun of Bill Gates whatsoever."

The Gates supporters list four reasons for a Gates presidency.

First, he's rich: "Yes, we believe being absurdly rich is a good thing for any presidential candidate. Why? This candidate could make a great statement by paying for his or her campaign from his or her own pocket."

Second, he's rational: "We ... think rational thinking is crucial in a global context, a context in which not everyone is a Christian, a Muslim or a Jew."

Third, he isn't selfish: "With the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill has already shown the world he's not a selfish man. Some people might call giving to the poor and supporting the needy liberal, but we prefer calling it responsible."

Fourth, he's a leader: "In his many years at Microsoft, Bill has shown us he's an exceptional manager. Bill can not only handle pressure, he's used to it."

Online calls for public figures to run for president are nothing new. A goofy campaign swelled around actor John Cusack for president in 2002. The now-defunct site CusackForPresident.com gained a lot of chuckles, if not a lot of serious support. But the supporters of Gates for president insist their preferred candidate could actually handle the job. And their campaign is turning heads online.

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams recently endorsed a Gates presidency on his blog, dilbertblog.typepad.com: "The fascinating thing is that even the comments about his evil-doings are FAVORABLE to the concept of Bill Gates for president," Adams wrote. "The man took one look at capitalism and beat it like a 14-year-old boy with unrestricted Internet access. Bill Gates is a winner. Wouldn't you prefer having him on your side for a change, beating the crap out of North Korea instead of Netscape?"

The London Times' news blog also admitted to being intrigued by the idea: "The Microsoft man has done computers; he's done capitalism; he's doing as much as anyone to get on top of HIV / Aids and Malaria; so why not the White House?"

Others, however, aren't so easily sold.

"We know he is a convicted monopolist, skillful lobbyist, and that he pulled many dirty tricks to get his own in the business world," wrote the blog Terminally Incoherent (www.terminally-incoherent.com). "What is his political affiliation, though? Whose mandate would he be running on? What is his stance on the war? How about national security? Or emigration? Or unemployment? Or taxes? Or minimum wage?"

All unanswered questions as yet.

And most important, there's been no word from Gates himself on whether he has given even an inkling of interest in the job.

But supporters at Bill Gates for President say they are thinking long-term: "Our dream, getting Bill and Melinda in the White House, might not be too realistic in the short run. But don't worry: We'll be here along the way, even if it takes a decade."

In the meantime, keep an eye out for hidden campaign slogans in Windows Vista.

troy.mccullough@baltsun.com

Listen to Troy McCullough's podcasts at baltimoresun.com/onblogs.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.