With only about three weeks to go before the Americans Elect process really gets underway, none of the declared candidates are even close to gaining enough support to qualify for the online caucus. At least under the current rules. So I started to wonder if maybe the problem was that the candidates being offered up just weren’t exciting enough to capture the imagination of volunteers and supporters the way Ross Perot did in the early 90’s.
Since Americans Elect allows anyone to create a “draft committee” and add a new candidate to their website, I decided to get in on the fun. In trying to think of a candidate worth drafting, I decided that the only way AE would be able to have a major impact on the outcome of the election would be to recruit a candidate who had either major public name recognition or the ability to finance a $100 million presidential campaign out of their own pocket. Having both would be the best scenario.
And it would need to be someone just crazy enough to actually run.
Only one name came to mind: Mark Cuban.
The Pittsburgh-born mogul is a self-made billionaire, having cut his teeth in the earliest days of the Internet boom as co-founder of Broadcast.com. Over the last decade, Cuban has shifted his focus to sports and entertainment after his company sold out to Yahoo in 1999 for an estimated $6 billion. Currently, he is best known as the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and as a judge on the ABC show Shark Tank. Cuban’s other assets include independent film studio Magnolia Pictures, the Landmark Theaters chain, and the cable channel HDNet. Over the last few years he’s made attempts to purchase baseball’s LA Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.
Mark Cuban is a creative and charismatic figure who could easily finance his own campaign. He’s a man who has never been afraid to speak his mind, and it’s easy to imagine that voters and the media would embrace this straight shooter. His political leanings, at least those I’ve been able to figure by reading his blog or from interviews, seem to be of a perfect blend of progressive-libertarianism.
What’s even better is that we know for a fact that Cuban is not at all concerned with preserving the two-party system. In 2008, he openly urged Michael Bloomberg to run for president as an independent. The maverick billionaire also served on the advisory board for Unity08.
So this year, I’m drafting Mark Cuban for president. Click here to visit the Americans Elect website and lend your support!
To close my case, I’ll end with a few paragraphs from Mr. Cuban’s own blog post in which he encouraged Michael Bloomberg to enter the 2008 Presidential race:
So here we are, our country has the same problem we have every four years, our remaining candidates are politicians. They know how to spend other people’s money. They know how to assign responsibility to someone else. They know how to beg for other people’s money. They know how to campaign, schmooze and kiss babies. They have no earthly idea how to accomplish any of their promises.
So here is my hope. My hope is that the entire primary process is just the preseason. That its nothing more than an expensive introduction to the Republican and Democratic candidates and once they have picked their winner, a wealthy individual will nominate them self to compete with the 2 parties and run for President.
Are you listening Mayor Bloomberg? For less than the cost of opening a tent pole movie, you can change the status quo. I’m not saying that I’m going to vote for you yet. As I said above, the devil is in the details. But, I’m betting that unlike the current choices, you recognize the difference between politics and results.
It’s four years later and nothing much has changed. Our country is in serious trouble and neither party has any clue how to turn things around.
Politics, like business (and sports), is all about timing. And the time for action is right now.
Voters are fed up. They are hungry for a real choice. People are crying out for a leader, someone they can actually get excited about supporting.
Are you listening, Mark Cuban? Will you answer the call?