Mark Cuban has always been game for a challenge. Take over the moribund Dallas Mavericks and turn them into NBA champions? Check. Figure out a way to deliver live broadcasts over this newfangled thing called the Internet? Check. (And collect a check, too, for $5 billion and change.) Now after stumping for Hillary Clinton in 2016 — more as a antidote to Donald Trump‘s insurgent candidacy than as a big fan of the Democratic platform — Cuban is again being talked about as a presidential candidate himself in 2020. At Business Insider’s Ignition Conference, Cuban hardly shot down the idea of entering the POTUS fray. You could sense his billionaire spidey sense tingling at the notion of being able to participate in the presidential debates and make his case directly to the American people.
Cuban has said he wouldn’t run as a Democrat, and the Republicans, as of today, already have a candidate in Trump, so that leaves only the Independent path to the presidency. Running as an Independent suits Cuban just fine, of course — he’s nothing if not an independent thinker. Hey, his team is called the Mavericks. And Cuban is uniquely positioned to go it alone.
The problem that Independent candidates have had historically is the two-party system domination, but the Internet may provide ways to upend the status quo — and Cuban, as an Internet entrepreneur first and foremost, is in a strong position to utilize the technology. And he could self-finance a run, using data to calculate efficiency probably better than any candidate in history.
One roadblock, Cuban admits, could be his three kids, who are a big priority in his life. He jokingly (but seriously too) called running for president “the definition of bad parenting.” But still the chance to participate in the rough and tumble of the debates may be too much for the highly competitive Cuban to turn down.
Interesting note: The last Independent candidate for president to make a real impact (besides Ralph Nader‘s minor disruption in 2000) was a Texan like Cuban. In the 1992 presidential election H. Ross Perot, another billionaire digital entrepreneur, won 18.9 percent of the popular vote. Perot and Cuban are linked in other ways: Cuban bought the Mavericks from Perot’s son, Ross Perot Jr., in 2000.