Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig announced on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos that he will run for the Presidency. The campaign finance reform activist had a self-imposed goal of one million dollars. He said that if he didn’t reach the goal, he would not run for the Presidency.
Lessig’s main, if only, campaign focus is government reform, specifically dealing with campaign finance and redistricting. It is his only aim in the sense that Lessig has pledged to pass a government reform bill, The Citizen Equality Act of 2017 to be specific, and then resign the Presidency.
Due to this singular focus, Lessig is running as a referendum candidate. Any vote for him is a vote in support of his proposal.
Lessig is running as a Democrat, but he may struggle to qualify for the debates. The Democratic National Committee set the criteria for the debates and candidates must hit one percent nationally in order to qualify. Lessig remains an unknown nationally and there will most likely not be many polls before the first debate on CNN October 14. Public Policy Polling polled him nationally and found him registering one percent, tied with Chafee.
Since Lessig intends to resign the Presidency, who he would choose as a running mate is a top question. An online poll for supporters asks who Lessig should name and eleven choices are given, in addition to a fill-in-the-blank other option. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a darling on the progressive left, is listed in addition to four of the Democratic presidential candidates. Only former Governor Lincoln Chafee is not listed. Chafee, a former Republican, has failed to so far gain traction in the presidential race. Numerous polls have pegged him at zero percent. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and activist/CNN commentator Van Jones are listed, in addition to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering a presidential campaign of his own, is also listed.
Lessig will formally announce his run in New Hampshire on Wednesday.