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Mr. Presidential Candidate: Whom Would You Nominate?


Stuart Minor Benjamin


Duke University School of Law

G. Mitu Gulati


Duke University - School of Law

September 9, 2008

Loyola Los Angeles Law. Review, Vol. 42, p. 293, 2009
Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Paper No. 214

Abstract:     
Presidential candidates compete on multiple fronts for votes. Who is more likeable? Who will negotiate more effectively with allies and adversaries? Who has the better vice-presidential running mate? Who will make better appointments to the Supreme Court and the cabinet? This last question is often discussed long before the inauguration, for the impact of a secretary of state or a Supreme Court justice can be tremendous. Despite the importance of such appointments, we do not expect candidates to compete on naming the better slates of nominees. For the candidates themselves, avoiding competition over nominees in the pre-election context has personal benefits - in particular, enabling them to keep a variety of supporters working hard on the campaign in the hope of being chosen as nominees. But from a social perspective, this norm has costs. This Article proposes that candidates be induced out of the status quo. In the current era of candidates responding to internet queries and members of the public asking questions via YouTube, it is plausible that the question—“Whom would you nominate (as secretary of state or for the Supreme Court)?” - might be asked in a public setting. If one candidate is behind in the race, he can be pushed to answer the question - and perhaps increase his chances of winning the election.

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Date posted: July 6, 2008 ; Last revised: April 3, 2010

Suggested Citation

Benjamin, Stuart Minor and Gulati, G. Mitu, Mr. Presidential Candidate: Whom Would You Nominate? (September 9, 2008). Loyola Los Angeles Law. Review, Vol. 42, p. 293, 2009; Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Paper No. 214. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1155222 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1155222

Contact Information

Stuart Minor Benjamin (Contact Author)
Duke University School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-613-7275 (Phone)
919-613-7231 (Fax)
Gaurang Mitu Gulati
Duke University - School of Law ( email )
Box 90360
Duke School of Law
Durham, NC 27708
United States
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