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February 28, 2014

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

(Continued)

Sheryl Sandberg

Why she could: One of the tech world's best known and widely respected executives, Sandberg running for president would be the ultimate "lean in." She currently serves on Obama's Council for Jobs and Competitiveness and was the first woman named to Facebook's board of directors. She's got the clout and - thanks in large part to her massively successful memoir last year - the name recognition. Were she to mount a political run, people would have to pay attention.

Why she probably won't: While Sandberg is one of many politically active Silicon Valley heavyweights, we've yet to see any of them take the plunge and enter elected politics themselves. With her professional success and name recognition, what would be the upside for Sandberg mounting a presidential run unless she really thought she could win?

Thomas Siebel

Why he could: One of the few Republicans on Nader's list, Siebel served as a bundler and fundraiser for the McCain/Palin ticket and hosted fundraisers for Romney in 2012. He's got the money and, based on the few political statements he's made publicly, seems to come from the most conservative wing of the GOP.

Why he probably won't: In his most high profile (and likely, only) political speech to date, he introduced then vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin this way: "Sarah Palin has risen as if from some mythical kingdom of the north. She carries the flag of outrage for the rest of us." There will likely be some desire for an insurgent tea party-esque candidate in 2016, but it's unclear if a political unknown like Siebel would have any real chance.

Tom Steyer

Why he could: This former hedge fund manager and political moneyman certainly has the ambition and the connections. He's been a fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidates from Walter Mondale to Obama, spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and has used funneled millions to left-leaning super PACs in efforts to support the environmental causes near and dear to his heart. He has pledged to raise and spend $100 million this year for ads on climate change. Last year, Steyer's name was briefly floated as a possibility to replace Steven Chu as energy secretary. Asked by Bloomberg TV if he'd accept, Steyer said he would.

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