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February 25, 2014

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

(Continued)

Jerome Kohlberg

Why he could: While he's been out of the game for a few years, Kohlberg does have a compelling biography. He's a Jewish veteran of World War II who returned to America and made millions in private equity and the leveraged buyout industries. He's been active philanthropically, using his Kohlberg Foundation which focuses on health and medical research, education, and the environment. And he's also been active in helping bankroll campaign finance reform efforts.

Why he probably won't: The oldest of Nader's presidential suggestions, a 2016 presidential bid would mean Kohlberg would celebrate his 90th birthday on the campaign trail.

David Rubenstein

Why he could: Of all of the names on this list, Rubenstein has some of the deepest Washington ties of anyone on Nader's list. A self-described, "patriotic philanthropist," Rubenstein is the chairman of the Kennedy Center, sits on the board of the Smithsonian, and has used his wealth to do things like buy a copy of the Magna Carta and finance the pandas at the National Zoo.

Why he probably won't: While he's got some political history (Rubenstein worked from 1977 to 1981 as a White House deputy to President Jimmy Carter), that's a long time ago. This billionaire has spent millions on art restoration and on-behalf of non-profits, but just thousands in political donations - signaling that his political ambition may be long behind him.

Sheryl Sandberg

Why she could: One of the tech world's best known and widely respected executives, Sandberg running for president would be the ultimate "lean in." She currently serves on Obama's Council for Jobs and Competitiveness and was the first woman named to Facebook's board of directors. She's got the clout and - thanks in large part to her massively successful memoir last year - the name recognition. Were she to mount a political run, people would have to pay attention.

Why she probably won't: While Sandberg is one of many politically active Silicon Valley heavyweights, we've yet to see any of them take the plunge and enter elected politics themselves. With her professional success and name recognition, what would be the upside for Sandberg mounting a presidential run unless she really thought she could win?

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