Russ Baker
: Unknown

My choice of challenger is someone we don't know -- or someone we don't know we know. Let's face it: Congress and the statehouse needn't be the only sources of future presidents. If those establishments can't do better than "name-brand-with-main-street-manner beats experience-and-brains-doing-business-as-pinocchio," it's obviously time to widen the prospect pool. I propose a nationwide talent search for someone not currently on the national scene.

I run into people every day with the smarts, energy and capability to make a good candidate. A dragnet for attractive figures with real management expertise, integrity, worldliness, and strong communication skills ought to turn up possibilities in scores of venues, from academia to corporations to unions. Lack of national policy experience is clearly no longer a disqualifier -- everyone can get his or her own Dick Cheney to lay in the structure and the team. Add money, and viola! You've got a winner.

New York-based Russ Baker is an award-winning journalist who covers politics and media.