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Would Bill Gates be No. 2?

Times Staff Writer

Now that Bill Gates no longer has to worry about running Microsoft, why not help run the country?

The Microsoft Corp. co-founder is mentioned by some in political circles as the “dream running mate” for Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, according to Politico.com.

The site asked 14 consultants, staffers, fundraisers and historians to name “their most unconventional -- but reasonably viable” vice presidential choices for McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee. Also making the list of eight long shots was Meg Whitman, the former chief executive of EBay Inc. and a McCain fundraiser.

Former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina also has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice. But Gates hasn’t gotten much love as a potential veep. Talk about campaign finance reform: The world’s third-richest man could help the McCain ticket obliterate Obama’s Internet-fueled fundraising advantage.

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It got us to thinking: Who else in the tech world would liven up a presidential ticket?

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison: Unless Obama picks Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, this could be the only way to bring a little of that Clintonesque boom-decade swagger back to the White House.

Google co-founder and President Larry Page: If Google’s going to run the world one day, this would be a good steppingstone. His fellow co-founder, Sergey Brin, is ineligible for the presidency because he was born in Russia. Page just makes the constitutional age cutoff, having turned 35 in March (sorry, Facebook fans, Mark Zuckerberg won’t be old enough until 2019).


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