Y Combinator President Sam Altman might run for governor of California — or so says Willie Brown, who spent decades in the California State Assembly and served two terms as the mayor of San Francisco.
Brown slipped a few comments on Altman’s apparent interest in holding office into his Sunday column for the San Francisco Chronicle. Altman is considering running as soon as 2018, Brown said.
Altman, 32, told “Vice News Tonight” correspondent Nellie Bowles a month ago that he wanted to see a techie run for governor, but that he didn’t see himself in office.
“I don’t think charisma is my strength,” he said.
He has no experience as an elected official. But hey, neither does the president of the United States.
Here’s an excerpt from Brown’s column:
“I met up with Altman the other day. He was dressed in sneakers and jeans and was looking for advice.
I told him California has a history of millionaires running for public office on their own dime. Most wind up paying consultants a whole lot of money and losing.
Altman responded that he isn’t planning on running a traditional campaign and that if he gets in, he’d reach voters through digital intelligence — which, as far as I can tell, involves using analytics to market your message more precisely to your customers.
He’d go after young folks and immigrants who will be voting for the first time.”
Altman’s interest in running for office would not be completely out of left field. The investor and startup founder has a history of political engagement. He’s been a loud critic of President Donald Trump and funds a voter engagement nonprofit.
He’s also a proponent of universal basic income, an economic model in which people would be supplied with a baseline income to ensure they can support themselves without being fully employed. This idea is gaining ground as more and more people accept that robots and artificial intelligence will kill a lot of jobs.
Good luck, Sam. But if you’re serious about running for governor, maybe consider running for a lower level of office first. It might be a good idea to get some experience working in government before you put yourself out there as a contender to run the nation’s most populous state and largest U.S. state economy.
Recode has reached out to Altman to ask what’s going on here and will update if he responds.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.