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People share the person they wish would actually run for president

Some popular names got people excited, but descriptions of the ideal president were most telling.

Jonny Kim, Dolly Parton and Jon Stewart were all suggested as POTUS candidates.

As we ramp up to the November 2024 U.S. presidential election, many Americans are feeling less-than-enthused about it. In our de facto two-party system, we will realistically have a Republican and Democrat candidate to choose from, and this year both of the top candidates are struggling to inspire a great deal of confidence or support.

While Joe Biden and Donald Trump will most likely be duking it out come November, people are imagining who they'd really like to see on the ballot. A Reddit thread asked, "Who do you WISH would run for President of America?" and the answers span from ideal descriptions to hilarious hypotheticals to actual people who have the knowledge, skills, experience and character to be a good presidential candidate.


Here's how people responded:

A good, smart middle-aged person

By far, the most popular answers for who they wish would run for president revolved around being a good, responsible, humble person who is somewhere in the middle-age range.

"I am in my 60’s. I would like a 40-60 year old who is honest, intelligent, moral, and has a sense of balance. Not a perfect person who never made a mistake, but someone who made mistakes and learned from them. Someone who has overcome hardship. This will allow them to have empathy for others. Someone that will make sure the tax burden is shared evenly, based on one’s income. Someone who can work with other countries and promote partnerships and be strong against corruption, violence, and war. Someone who understands they won’t ever fix all of societies problems, but strives to make our society better. Should I go on. Young people out there who want to make the world a better place, we need you to step up." – No-Grapefruit-83

"Some random 40-56 year old guy, who no one knows, has worked quietly in government for years, understands how it works and how to navigate it, with a smart wit and who just wants to help people.

And he has no desire to be POTUS because he'd rather do some nerdy hobby with his wife. But if elected he would feel he had to do the duty." – kirbyfox312

"This is so pie in the sky, but someone who loves this country but also understands we are a small part of a big world. Someone who is intelligent. Someone who is like in their 50's? (maybe) Someone who is not an asshat, but also not weak. Someone who reads. Someone who is willing to listen to all sides.

Is this too much'? Probably." – Catalyst886

Some fun suggestions

More than a few responses were pure comedy.

"With absolutely nothing to do with his politics, but senator Sheldon Whitehouse. I just want news anchors to have to say “president Whitehouse” with a straight face for 4-8 years as though it didn’t sound like something out of a cartoon." – nothomelandersacct

"The mayor of Idyllwild, CA, is a golden retriever named Max. I think it’s time for him to make the step up to the national stage." – piray003

"The guy who owns Arizona Ice Tea." – MumpsMoose

Although, that one may not be a joke, considering:

"I just saw an interview with him where the reporter asked him why not raise the prices, and his response was fantastic. Basically said they're doing well and have all their bases covered so why make it harder for struggling people to enjoy their products when there's no need? That alone gives me mad respect for him." – MindOverMedia

Personal recommendations

Some people offered up people they know personally who would make a great president.

"My stepdad. He has done truly impressive things for the university where he is president. He grew up dirt poor in eastern Kentucky. Worked his ass off to put himself and several siblings through college. He came from nothing to get a PhD. He is fair and kind and wise. He is extremely generous. As an example of one of the many reasons I find him qualified: He once sued the state of kentucky on the grounds of unconstitutional funding of public education (as a board of education member representing the poorest school in the state - with only a bachelor’s in accounting) and WON! He is an incredible human being and he is one of the only people I would trust to run this country." – Ok-Parfait-

"My 7th grade social studies teacher, he's tite." – luxury_yacht

"My mom. She’s awesome." – Miss_Medussa

A few fictional possibilities

If we're going to play an imaginary game, we might as well bring in some imaginary players, right?

"Aragorn, son of Arathorn." – Lord_Battlepants

"Pedro... I think he would get votes." – Pinorckle

"Josiah Bartlet." – VoteForLubo

"Leslie Knope. I feel like we would all be better off it she was in charge." – Odd_Mix_8675

"If I could Thanos snap my fingers and make Jean Luc Picard an American politician in the present day, I would have done it by now." – RiflemanLax

Real people who will likely never run

Lots of names were thrown out, but a few of the most popular ones were:

Jon Stewart

"He has expressed specific disinterest in being president.

Which makes him the ideal candidate." – DigNitty


Dolly Parton

"I especially love Dolly Parton's stance on early childhood literacy. She has worked to improve it." – leannmanderson


Jonny Kim

"Jonny Kim:

- Harvard doctor
- NASA astronaut
- Navy SEAL (Bronze Star and Silver Star: rescued wounded Iraqi soldiers in the face of enemy fire)
- Navy flight surgeon and naval aviator
- Grew up poor in south Los Angeles
- Dad ran a liquor store
- Mom was a substitute teacher
- He went to public school. He went to University of San Diego as an undergrad (summa cum laude in mathematics)
- He was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father
- The police killed his father in their attic
- Married with 3 kids
- is 40 years old

He understands poverty, being a victim, intimately familiar with police engagement in domestic situations, being a POC, going through the public school system, understands numbers, military, healthcare, and bleeding edge science. and invested in the future of our country with 3 young children."


Hank Green

"Hank Green, absolutely. We need a scientifically literate president." – WildLudicolo

And yes, some politicians, too

Many people did name some people in politics that they'd like to see run, with the most popular names being Secretary of Transportation Mayor Pete [Buttigieg], Kentucky governor Andy Beshear, Congresswoman Katie Porter, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, Pennsylvania governor Josh Shapiro, California governor Gavin Newsom and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.

Each of those established politicians received multiple shout outs with people praising the qualities they felt they had that they felt would make them a solid candidate among the current crop of lawmakers.

Will any of these folks actually run for president in the future? It's entirely possible. As we've learned, when it comes to modern American politics, literally anything is possible.