Tim Kaine was Hillary Clinton's choice as vice-presidential candidate. But what if she would have reached into the Emerald City?

Share story

If Wikileaks is to be believed, three Seattle-area luminaries were among those considered by the Clinton campaign as a potential running mate. They were Howard Schultz of Starbucks and Bill and Melinda Gates of the foundation that bears their names.

I’m sure a history buff can correct me, but I can’t think of a vice-presidential candidate with no experience in elective office (Wendell Willkie, the 1940 GOP presidential nominee, was a corporate lawyer and former Democrat). Harry Truman even had his doubts about Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, his successor. “Poor Ike,” Truman said, “He’ll say ‘do this!’ and ‘do that!’ and nothing at all will happen.” But the man who led the liberation of Western Europe in World War II possessed unique gifts and succeeded in keeping a fractious alliance together.

The American belief in the infallibility of corporate moguls should have been disabused in the perp walks of the scandals of the turn of the century, as well as the ones who got away with nearly driving the world economy over the cliff in 2008. Michael Bloomberg is the rarest of successful business leader-politicians and probably sui generis to New York City.

Government does many things that business can’t, and requires (or did historically) compromise and incremental change that would drive a tycoon mad (one I can think of has melted down to the point of blaming a conspiracy including “international bankers” for his woes — for those of you new to the show, that term was a favorite of Hitler, code for “the Jews”).

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Our local trio is made of milder stuff. But their lack of more impressive experience in politics, government and foreign policy would have presented a substantial roadblock for an office this high (Sarah Palin notwithstanding). This was, after all, the position that would be “a heartbeat away…” Bill Gates in his heyday would have made an excellent attack dog, but now he’s a milder world-saver. Everybody loves the Gates Foundation — except those who don’t, and the scrutiny to which it would have been exposed alone would have caused the Gateses to bow out if asked.

Schultz might have been tempted. He has opined about the need for more civil politics and focus on the common good. It’s a nice aspiration, but not in a nation so sharply divided on almost every issue. And politics was never beanbag.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Apple’s new keyboard

Will leave QWERTY in the dust

ns# `32ng eiou2fba