POLITICS

Forget That Clown. Our Fantasy List Of 2016 Independent Candidates

By tradition, only grumpy, unglamorous curmudgeons consider running as independent candidates for president -- men such as George Wallace, John Anderson, Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan. They were the political equivalents of a shot and a beer.

But now we have the innovative Donald Trump. He is a glitzy global celebrity: an orange-haired, gold-plated bottle of Cristal, full of ephemeral fizz and loaded with gas. Which got us thinking here at 2016 FIRST TO LAST. What other public-spirited, somewhat political celebs, entertainers, captains of industry and Aspen-ish “thought leaders” are out there who might also qualify to be whisked through the “tough door” at Club White House and into VIP room of possible independent candidates?

 Because, really, anyone would be preferable, or at least more tolerable. Our list: 

RANK CANDIDATE RISING OR FALLING
1
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG
Has the money, media empire, government experience and ego. Just run already.
😇 😇 😇
2
OPRAH
Paperback conscience of America.
😇 😇 😇
3
JAMIE DIMON
Presidency would be a step down, but he knows how to get things done in Washington (just buy it).
😇 😇 😇
4
JOHN LEGEND
Kinda think he might be really great. Classy guy.
😇 😇 😇
5
HOWARD SCHULTZ
Would you like an agenda with your coffee?
😇 😇
6
STEPHEN COLBERT
Already an adroit and instructive parodist -- maybe if he becomes president, we can finally see who we really are.
😇 😇
7
GEORGE CLOONEY
Ocean's '16: We'd prefer Amal, but we'll settle for George.
😇 😇
8
PETER THIEL
From PayPal to Palantir, he's already creepin' all up in our business.
😇 😇
9
TRAVIS KALANICK
Teaming up with David Plouffe to do some Trump-lite plutocrat-populism, with celeb friends advancing the #brands.
😇 😇
10
WARREN BUFFET
Imagine if the State of Union was like his annual letter to investors!
😇 😇
11
ANDERSON COOPER
America's last Vanderbilt.
😇 😇
12
WALTER ISAACSON
Biographer of Franklin, Einstein and Jobs. Boss of Aspen ideas festival. Knows big think and bloviation.
😇
13
BILL GATES
Just because we want Clippy to do all intragovernment communications: "Hi, it looks like you're trying to pass a highway bill!"
😇
14
ANGELINA JOLIE
Does real work for the U.N., outed herself as wannabe politician -- in Vanity Fair, of course.
😇
15
ASHTON KUTCHER
Tours the country as an evangelist of entrepreneurialism. But dude, where's my car?
😇
16
SERGEY BRIN
Already runs the world as Google founder, just adding this managerial title.
😇
17
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON
Maybe the only man in America who can get us off of this planet. (But his Pluto demotion probably disqualifies him for higher office.)
😇
18
THOMAS FRIEDMAN
On the list because we found the perfect emoji for him.
👨
Candidate Photos: Getty, Associated Press
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