Lawrence Lessig Apparently Thinking Of Running For President For Some Reason

Politico is reporting that Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig is exploring the idea of running for President:

Another Democrat is stepping into the presidential ring.

Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig is exploring a bid for the White House, according to a website announcing the plan. He aims to crowdsource enough money on the Internet to “mount a credible campaign” in the Democratic primary, the website says.

Lessig’s candidacy is aimed at securing passage of the Citizen Equality Act of 2017, a legislative proposal for voter protection laws, new methods for electing representatives and a greater focus on citizen-funded elections.

In his launch video, he explains that he is running to put “citizen equality” on the map, and unless a leading candidate, “whether Hillary or Bernie or Joe or someone else” adopts that mantle, Lessig himself would run as a “referendum president,” serving only as long as it takes to pass that agenda.

(…)

For many years, Lessig functioned as something of the Internet’s philosopher-king. His 1999 book, “Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace,” was a foundational text in the then-dawning debate over regulating the Internet. In 2001, he founded the organization Creative Commons to redefine how copyright law operated online. Lessig advocated loudly for the aggressive net neutrality rules adopted by the FCC in February.

Lessig and Barack Obama were colleagues at the University of Chicago, but after throwing his weight behind Obama’s candidacy, Lessig later expressed disappointment with the president. In 2010, he wrote that “Obama’s strategy as president has not been to ‘change the way Washington works.’ Rather, he has pushed reforms in the same old way, with the same old games.”

Obviously, Lessig is only going through with this to promote the ideas he’s been writing about recently. Indeed, it’s not at all clear that he will actually enter the Presidential race at all. If he does, though, it’s hard to see how he is going to have much of an impact. He has no political experience, and the main issue that he would center his campaign on is something that Bernie Sanders is already talking about. In the end, this seems to be nothing more than a Harvard academic with too much time on his hands.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. LC says:

    Lawrence Lessig Apparently Thinking Of Running For President For Some Reason

    Lessig’s candidacy is aimed at securing passage of the Citizen Equality Act of 2017, a legislative proposal for voter protection laws, new methods for electing representatives and a greater focus on citizen-funded elections.

    George Pataki is running for some reason. Jim Gilmore is running for some reason. Lawrence Lessig is running to bring campaign finance rules into the discussion. It says it right there in the article you quoted.

    Take a vacation Doug. You clearly need one.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    @LC: To be fair:
    a) Doug was recycling the usual headline for comic effect, successfully I think
    b) the whole concept of campaign finance rules does not compute for Doug

  3. al-Ameda says:

    He’s a Harvard Law professor, he’s entitled to run.

    Ostensibly Lessig is running to bring attention to our campaign finance system, wherein money now equals speech. Sorry Lawrence, but we already know this, especially since the Supreme Court ruled that people like you need to get a multi-billionaire angel to finance your effort to let us know that money matters.

  4. grumpy realist says:

    I’m grumpy about Lessig ever since his attempt (in front of SCOTUS, no less) to beat back the incredible lifetimes of copyright law went down in flames. He may be a good professor, but his strategy techniques don’t pan out.