Will Jeff Bezos ‘Make America Amazon’ in 2024?
Last week The Hill published an op-ed titled, “Do Democrats need a past ‘superstar’ to hold the White House in 2024?” by veteran Republican consultant Douglas MacKinnon, who wrote:
“At some point, all of the Democrats I have spoken with drift into a version of the same thought: They need a superstar to emerge as the ‘adult in the room’ to save the party.”
Yet, MacKinnon failed to name a “superstar” who realistically could replace President Biden except for former First Lady Michele Obama — who has shown no interest.
Also lamenting the Biden problem is journalist Mark Leibovich. He recently wrote a piece for The Atlantic titled “The Case for a Primary Challenge to Joe Biden.” The piece was subtitled: “There must be some freethinking Democrat who’s willing to get in the race.”
Between the lines, you can hear Leibovich screaming, “What is wrong with you people?” when he wrote: “There has to be one good Challenger X out there from the party’s supposed ‘deep bench,’ right? Someone who is compelling, formidable, and younger than, say, 65?”
However, Challenger X is not on the party’s “deep bench.” Like MacKinnon, Leibovich envisions this known savior candidate parachuting in and changing everything. Sorry to disappoint, but inside-the-box thinking leads to the lackluster Biden/Harris ticket. Yet, outside, there is potentially a “change everything” candidate. He is 59 years old and shopping around for big boy toys like an NFL team while building his dream sailing yacht and a rocket ship to Mars. His name is Jeff Bezos.
With a net worth of $127 billion, Bezos is one of the world’s wealthiest men. Currently, he appears not to harbor presidential ambitions. But do we know whether any Democratic leaders have asked?
After all, Bezos is a superstar performer in a nation long overdue for a leadership course correction. Moreover, polling indicates that Democrats are ready for an out-of-the-box president, not one from “the bench.”
Last month The Hill reported that only 37 percent of Democrats want President Biden to seek a second term, but with no clear replacement. Overall, a January 2023 Gallup poll found that while 64 percent of Americans think the “United States’ power in the world will decline, 73 percent think China’s power will increase.” If we are a declining power, we need a leader who is an extraordinary innovator with once-in-a-lifetime business acumen, a proven track record and the highest level management skills to reverse our downward spiral.
The RealClearPolitics average finds 64 percent of voters think our nation is on the “wrong track” compared to 27 percent who say we are headed in the “right direction.” Such pessimism will multiply if Americans must endure a Trump v. Biden rerun, begging the question, “Is this the best we can do?” And if Democrats are longing for “Challenger X” to derail the Biden/Harris ticket, then a strong case can be made for Bezos. But someone needs to ask him — now.
Building from scratch is a Bezos specialty and, fortunately, between his sofa cushions, he has the $2 billion needed to build, launch and run the most high-tech presidential campaign organization in history.
Then there is his rock star name recognition through Amazon. The company he started in 1994 is projected to overtake Walmart as the world’s largest retailer by 2024.
Amazon Prime has 153 million members. Juxtapose that with 155.5 million voters who cast a presidential ballot for Trump or Biden in 2020. From a marketing perspective, those 153 million prime members have an ongoing personal relationship with Jeff Bezos — a political plus if he were to run and win the nomination.
Of course, Bezos would have to detach himself from Amazon if elected president. Not easy since Bezos and his empire are thoroughly integrated into the U.S. economy. Remember during COVID-19 how Amazon’s delivery played a critical role while people were homebound and many businesses were shuttered? In addition, consumers are unaware of how many products and services they regularly use that have Amazon tentacles.
Furthermore, unbeknownst to most Americans, Amazon is deeply embedded in the U.S. government as a contractor through Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to its website, “7,500 government agencies” use AWS. Even the CIA and other intelligence agencies are prominent AWS clients with state-of-the-art (often secret) contracts.
Also, the Department of Defense (DOD) is a longtime AWS partner. In 2019 then-President Trump was accused of intervening to preclude AWS from winning a $10 billion DOD contract. Allegedly, Trump wanted retribution for all the “fake news” perpetrated against him by the Bezos-owned Washington Post.
Ultimately Amazon sued, and DOD eventually canceled the Microsoft-won contract. But in December 2022, AWS won a DOD multi-vendor “Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability” contract worth billions.
And don’t forget Bezos the Rocket Man who blasted into space in 2021. Last month, NASA awarded Blue Origin – his personally owned space exploration company – a Mars study mission contract.
In these perilous times, Bezos’s skills are needed. New technologies, artificial intelligence and cyber warfare will rule the world, and China threatens. But, unlike other wannabe 2024 candidates, Bezos understands how to manage the challenges by leveraging present and advanced technologies to keep our nation from global decline.
Perhaps in 2024 voters will choose between Trump’s “Make America Great Again — Again” and Bezos’s “Make America Amazon.”
Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.
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