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February 25, 2014

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

(Continued)

Stanley Druckenmiller

Why he could: A hedge fund manager, Druckenmiller used to manage investments for a well-known Democratic money man: George Soros. But Druckenmiller is not a liberal like Soros. His political contributions have gone almost exclusively to Republicans, including big gifts to the re-election bids of Republican House leaders.

Why he probably won't: Druckenmiller has been a critic of President Barack Obama, but while he has served as a CNBC talking head, he has not spent much time in raising his profile since his retirement in 2010.

Bill Gates

Why he could do it: The only person on this list who can rival Oprah's name recognition, Gates' name has for decades been synonymous with technological innovation and philanthropic efforts for years. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is seen as a philanthropic powerhouse and, at 60, he'd still be relatively young come 2016.

Why he probably won't: A Gates-for-POTUS campaign would constitute a pretty big flip flop. Asked about his potential political ambitions in 2012, Gates declared: "I decided the philanthropic role is where my contribution would be more unique, and so that is what I will work on the rest of my life. . . . I actually think, maybe I'm wrong, that I can have as much impact in that role as I could in any political role. In any case, I would never run for political office."

Tom Golisano

Why he could: Golisano is one of the only candidates on Nader's list who's run for office before. As the founding member of the Independence Party of New York, Golisano mounted three unsuccessful runs for New York governor in 1994, 1998, and 2002. He  considered running again as a Republican in 2006. Since 2011, he has been a spokesman for National Popular Vote, a nonprofit that aims to eliminate the electoral college in favor of a popular vote system.

Why he probably won't: Golisano reportedly spent $90 million of his own money backing his failed gubernatorial bids. While his pockets are deep, would he really be up for bankrolling a 50-state campaign?

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