-- Another Democratic presidential hopeful has his sights set on the White House but, if he wins, he doesn’t want to be president for very long.
Not eight years, not four years, and maybe even a lot less.
Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard professor, announced Tuesday that he will run for president with plans to vacate the highest office shortly after he is sworn in.
Lessig, 54, said he intends to run as a “referendum president" with the goal of radically overhauling the nation’s campaign finance system.
“The first thing we have to think about is how are we going to unrig this rigged system,” Lessig said during a conference call with reporters.
“Donald Trump standing on a debate stage, basically pointing to each of those candidates saying, I own you," he said. "I gave you money. You came to my wedding. All of this because you know the system is rigged to favor those who have the money.”
And he's not impressed by Hillary Clinton’s proposal to add a constitutional amendment to deal with campaign finance reform. “That is not a solution to this problem right now," he said. "We are not going to get two-thirds of the United States Congress to pass anything.”
But Lessig will only run on two conditions. First, he said he needs to crowdfund $1 million by Labor Day. Second, he promised to run if the candidates fail to make campaign finance reform a primary concern.
If both of those conditions are met, he will take a leave from his professorship at Harvard Law School and formally announce his candidacy.
“We’re going to raise this money, and if we hit that goal, I think we’ll have the momentum to raise the other money that’s going to be necessary to make this a successful campaign.”
Lessig reiterated that he would only serve as president until he were able to pass a series of government reforms aimed at giving all Americans equal representation and overhauling campaign finance. Then, he would resign his post to his vice president, whom he has not yet named.
“When I get that legislation passed, maybe a day, maybe a week, however long it takes,” he said, “I will resign.”