Oprah Winfrey was in the running to be Mike Bloomberg’s secretary of commerce during his last flirtation with the White House in 2016, alongside other big names for the onetime New York City mayor’s would-be Cabinet.
An initial list also tapped fellow billionaires Bill Gates of Microsoft fame for secretary of state, Tesla CEO Elon Musk for energy, and Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett for treasury, according to an account from Bloomberg adviser Bradley Tusk in his memoir “The Fixer” (Portfolio/Penguin Random House), which hit bookstores last week.
As the billionaire businessman, politician and philanthropist once again reportedly mulls running for president — this time as a Democrat — his team’s early strategy in 2016 offers a glimpse into how a national Bloomberg campaign might look in 2020.
“He has a really unique opportunity to run a campaign that’s never been run before, and that’s what makes him potentially a really exciting presidential candidate,” Tusk told the New York Post.
There were other notable names on the first list of potential department heads Tusk drafted while he was helping manage Bloomberg’s exploration of an independent run for president two years ago.
He put down former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly for the FBI, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings for the Federal Communications Commission, and shooting survivor and former Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.