Bill Cosby for President in 2008?
The Editors of Washington Monthly–the magazine, not Kevin Drum’s blog–have a simultaneously provocative and cutesy piece entitled, “Cosby in 2008?” They argue that the Democrats need to look beyond the usual suspects to find a presidential candidate who will appeal to Americans outside the Blue States.
If they are to confront a Republican Party now eyeing a constitutional amendment to make their favorite Austrian-born-movie-beefcake-turned-GOP governor eligible for the White House, Democrats must start thinking audaciously. Instead of bellyaching about the supposedly shallow 2008 bench, why not consider the following list of people, who probably no oneÃ¢€”including those on the listÃ¢€”have yet pictured duking it out in New Hampshire? Some of them may have a real chance of winning the nomination, while others are longshots who nonetheless represent the type of candidate who might make a run for the White House. Some are larger-than-life personalities; some have been wildly successful in business; some are already household names; and some are all of the above. Most importantlyÃ¢€”with apologies to the governor of IowaÃ¢€”each can make a more exciting candidate than Tom Vilsack.
Among their non-politician choices: Tom Brokaw, Tom Hanks, General Anthony Zinni, Ted Turner, Lance Armstrong and, oddly, Queen Noor.
And, as one might glean from the title, America’s favorite pitchman:
Bio: Comedian; actor; Ph.D. in education.
Case for Candidacy: America’s favorite dad is also a master of reframing; Cosby consciously structured his top-rated Ã¢€œCosby ShowÃ¢€ to emphasize the importance of education and knock down stereotypes of black families. He has since drawn upon his beloved-icon status and personal fortune to stump for early-reading initiatives and endow college scholarships; now, he’s putting his popularity on the line to criticize the lax parenting and low academic standards he sees in black America today. These recent remarks, that drew defensive fire, proved the former Jello spokesman has guts and thrust Cosby back onto the national stage. A successful, much-loved black man touting education and family-valuesÃ¢€”what’s not to love?
Surprising Edge: Great one-liners.
Possible Disqualifier: Has admitted cheating on his wife.
Odds of surviving Iowa Caucus: 50-50
Actually, it’s an Ed.D. But, yes, Cosby would have strong appeal if he threw his hat into the ring. He’s got excellent name recognition, is eloquent, charismatic, and accomplished. Of course, as Oliver Willis notes, Oprah Winfrey is similarly qualified.