Press-Republican

FYI...

February 28, 2014

Ralph Nader's list of 20 people he thinks should consider a run for president

(Continued)

George Kaiser

Why he could: One of the world's 100 richest people, Kaiser is chairman of BOK Financial Corp. and a major philanthropist. He was also a major fundraiser and bundler for Obama's 2008 campaign. His George Kaiser Family Foundation invests heavily in early childhood education and community health.

Why he probably won't: The electoral hopes for a Jewish Democrat from Oklahoma seem slim. Add to that the negative blowback from a 2011 investigation into Kaiser's alleged exploitation of tax avoidance strategies and Kaiser's link to failed solar-panel maker Solyndra, and it seems unlikely that Kaiser would desire the scrutiny of the national limelight.

Jerome Kohlberg

Why he could: While he's been out of the game for a few years, Kohlberg does have a compelling biography. He's a Jewish veteran of World War II who returned to America and made millions in private equity and the leveraged buyout industries. He's been active philanthropically, using his Kohlberg Foundation which focuses on health and medical research, education, and the environment. And he's also been active in helping bankroll campaign finance reform efforts.

Why he probably won't: The oldest of Nader's presidential suggestions, a 2016 presidential bid would mean Kohlberg would celebrate his 90th birthday on the campaign trail.

David Rubenstein

Why he could: Of all of the names on this list, Rubenstein has some of the deepest Washington ties of anyone on Nader's list. A self-described, "patriotic philanthropist," Rubenstein is the chairman of the Kennedy Center, sits on the board of the Smithsonian, and has used his wealth to do things like buy a copy of the Magna Carta and finance the pandas at the National Zoo.

Why he probably won't: While he's got some political history (Rubenstein worked from 1977 to 1981 as a White House deputy to President Jimmy Carter), that's a long time ago. This billionaire has spent millions on art restoration and on-behalf of non-profits, but just thousands in political donations - signaling that his political ambition may be long behind him.

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