Your Presidential Picks

Conor Friedersdorf asks:

“You can appoint any American citizen to one term as president,” I wrote earlier this week, “so long as your choice has never run for president before. Who do you appoint to the White House and why?”

and gets some interesting answers including these two:

“Austin makes a case for the public-radio host Kai Ryssdal, highlighting parts of his résumé I’d never known about:

Born in the U.S., but grew up partially overseas. MA in national security studies from Georgetown. [Flew] airplanes off of aircraft carriers in the US Navy. Pentagon staff officer. U.S. Foreign Service. Great communication skills, as heard on his hit radio show Marketplace, where he breaks down economics and markets both foreign and domestic. After he left the Navy he would ride his bike to work at a Borders for $7 an hour. He’s got an unbelievably impressive résumé with real world experience in National Security, International Relations, China Policy, US Military policy, economics, and the markets. Plus he knows what it’s like to work a real job like the rest of us. And he speaks Chinese! That’s huge. I would get behind him any day of the week.

Russell picked one of my favorite public intellectuals:

I’d like to appoint Tyler Cowen as president—besides being an uber-rationalist, we should give him a chance to put his state capacity libertarianism idea into practice. He is also one of the best identifiers of talent possibly on Earth, so we know we would get a dream team administration, likely composed of heterodox thinkers of diverse and opposing views who could shake everyone out of complacency. Finally, he has studiously managed to avoid being labeled as particularly associated with either party, so it’s possible that popular opinion wouldn’t know what to make of it all, giving the Cowen administration a chance to chart some new path, independent of pre-established partisan biases. Magical thinking? Maybe, but no less than we’ve got permeating our politics now.”

Good picks. I’d imagine that Cowen would appoint a pretty good FDA commissioner, or at least try.


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