Yesterday, The Fix asked readers for your third-party picks — a candidate that could actually have a shot at winning the presidency in 2012.
Here are your top picks. While a number of readers named New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and mogul Donald Trump, we explaind in our post yesterday why neither of them are likely to make serious bids.
On to the list!
* Bill Ackman, founder of the hedge fund Pershing Square and an investor in many major corporations. He drew up his own plan to save the banks in 2009, and he was welcomed to the White House by then-National Economic Council director Larry Summers for a talk.
* Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island governor. A Republican senator turned independent after his 2006 loss, Chafee has praised the idea of a centrist third party presidential candidate and frequently criticized both parties.
* Chuck Hagel, former Republican senator from Nebraska. Hagel frequently crossed the aisle to work with Democrats on national security issues. He considered running for president as an independent in 2008.
* Jon Huntsman, former ambassador to China and former governor of Utah. Huntsman has been struggling somewhat in the Republican primary, in part because of his work in the Obama administration, his support for civil unions and his past positions on health care.
* Russ Feingold, former Democratic senator from Wisconsin. Feingold has always has an independent streak, with views on campaign finance that don’t fit neatly into either party.
* Sarah Palin, former vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor. Palin still has a fervent base of supporters and huge star power, and she gets little love these days from the Republican establishment.
* David Petraeus, CIA director. Petraeus is sometimes mentioned as a GOP candidate, but he’s seen as a brilliant strategist and hyper-competent leader by peoople on both sides of the aisle. He was once a registered Republican, but he now stresses his independence and has not voted in years.
* Bernie Sanders, independent senator from Vermont. A socialist firebrand, Sanders has argued that a liberal primary challenge would be good for Obama. However, he’s said that he isn’t the one to mount it.