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In a hypothetical election...Battier Blows Away Competition

It's the year 2035, and thanks to the genius of modern technology, Americans can now vote for anyone-dead or alive-for president of the United States.

At Duke University, a banner is placed over the Bryan Center walkway, proclaiming... "Shane Battier for President!"

It's not as far-fetched as it sounds, at least not for some Blue Devils.

"When I see Shane on the basketball court, I just think he's a natural leader," said sophomore Jason Levine. "He seems like a diplomat, and frankly..., in my opinion, Shane's as good a choice as any."

Levine isn't alone. In this futuristic election, Battier could garner more votes than any of the normal party candidates.

Even Vice President for Student Affairs Sue Wasiolek sees potential for Battier to be the next Bill Bradley.

"He has been such a remarkable ambassador for Duke and for higher education," she said. "I think he can be a leader far beyond Duke. He has my vote without even campaigning."

Not all Blue Devils are voting for athletes, however. A fair number still think their ideal president would be a political veteran, and with a slight lead over the others, former President John F. Kennedy is edging out the competition.

"He had the passion, commitment to justice and integrity to help move the nation, and the world, to a better place," said Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences William Chafe.

John Aldrich, chair of the political science department, is also a Kennedy fan-but he prefers the president's brother, Robert. Aldrich said he regretted not being able to vote Robert Kennedy to the presidency.

"He had the toughness... and brains and political savvy to be president, but in 1968 he was just growing into having the heart and courage of his convictions.... That gave him the greatest chance to both heal and lead our country though a very difficult period."

The urge to vote for a president capable of withstanding crisis is not atypical.

Jerry Hough, a political science professor currently teaching a course called "The American Presidency," imagines many Americans will do just that in the coming election.


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