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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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July 1, 2008 2:46 PM

Bill Gates for VP?

Posted by David Postman

Now heading to his leisure years, Microsoft's Bill Gates was named a longshot choice for a place on the national ticket in a review by Politico of reasonably viable, yet most unconventional picks.

Several Republicans and even some moderate Democrats called the Microsoft founder John McCain's dream running mate. Gates could position McCain as a trusted voice on the economy and his multi-billion dollar commitment to charitable giving could soften up the campaign's image.

And there's no question he could help scare up a few dollars. In 2006, Gates convinced billionaire investor Warren Buffett to give $31 billion to the Gates Foundation.

There's just one little hitch: he seems to favor the Democrats these days. While Gates has given generously to both parties (including $2,000 to McCain in 2003) and advocated for a broad swath of policies over the years, in this cycle he's contributed $2,300 to both Dems, and nothing to McCain.

Gates' inclusion may be a sign that sooner or later everybody's name will appear on a list of potential running mates for Barack Obama and John McCain. But until until my name pops up, I'll agree to believe that Gates is an actual viable choice.

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