Michelle Kwan for president: Art unites, not divides

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Think about this: Michelle Kwan, 2016.

2016 is not the cost of a Vera Wang dress Kwan skates in (that would be more); nor is it the year America’s ice queen should once again vie for her elusive Olympic gold. (It’s is a Summer Olympic year anyway.) 2016 is the first election year in which Michelle Kwan will be at least 35 years old — and thus eligible for the presidency of the United States.

I must say, I wholeheartedly support a Kwan candidacy, as speculative as it may seem, eight years into the future.

Sure, the prospect of a figure skating star running for or becoming president seems outlandish. But why? In the fight-to-the-death battle in politics that is going on today, Kwan’s charisma — as opposed to the bureaucracy in place now — could be the so-called “change” our country needs. Beauty knows no partisanship; art unites, not divides.

Kwan has been building up her political experience since she left the competitive skating circuit in 2006. In the fall of that year, she transferred to the University of Denver to major in political science and pursue a minor in international studies, both of which she is well equipped for. Kwan’s skating career has only furthered her education. For international studies, Kwan has trotted — or rather, glided — all over the globe. And concerning political science, the entire world of skating is one giant lesson in politics. You name it, it’s got it — the politics of coaches, the politics of judges, the politics of how to wear one’s hair. It’s a tough world out there, but Kwan is clearly ready to handle it.

Additionally, in November of 2006, Michelle Kwan was named a Public Diplomacy Ambassador by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In this position, Kwan has traveled abroad to encourage cross-cultural dialogue and to inspire young people to pursue sports. She has since journeyed to China, Russia, and Argentina to hold skating clinics and talk to athletes, coaches, youth, and entrepreneurs. (From what I’ve heard, she’s even a tad better at public speaking than Dubya, but we’ll give dear Dubya the benefit of the doubt, since it was unlikely Kwan had to use the word “nuclear” in her cross-cultural discussions — and therefore was not subject to his erroneous pronunciation of “nu-cu-lar.”)

Many may remember fellow skater Sasha Cohen’s stint at the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, when she handed her cell phone to President Bush in a “Mom, I’m sitting next to the President!” moment, but Kwan’s political handlings go deeper. At the 1998 post-Olympic reception at the White House, for example, Kwan was chosen by her teammates to present to then-President Bill Clinton a commemorative Team USA jacket.

Who would be Kwan’s running partner? Hopefully, she would choose her longtime mentor and coach, Frank Carroll. Carroll’s rinkside manner is almost Reagan-esque: a little bit dapper, a little bit cuddly, an overall lovable figure. Plus, he has been there through thick and thin in Kwan’s career and is prominent in the world of figure skating.

Moreover, the Kwan campaign has a better idea for a campaign activity. A posh hotel banquet room can only hold so many citizens. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have a Kwan fundraising skate-a-thon, where the star would perform in front of tens of thousands of people?

In this vein, Kwan will entertain her way through her presidency. Elton John concert? Please. Kwan will do her own performing. Though Hillary’s recent fundraiser with Rocket Man himself on April 9 at Radio City Music Hall built up some good press (as well as an influx of much-needed campaign cash), Hill herself did not sing. If elected president, Kwan will skate, and audiences will swoon, as always.

Furthermore, Kwan won’t have to worry about the demographics of her voters. As Hillary has the rural votes and the older votes and Barack has the youth vote, they’re dueling over several demographic groups. Kwan’s got everyone. With figure skating dream Michelle Kwan as president, voters will not be broken down into dueling categories, but will instead join hands and sing “Kumbaya” — ’60s style. Kwan’s charisma is that uniting.

With all the technicalities of a Kwan campaign in place, the election could be a credible run in 2016. My only concern is the whole “3 a.m. phone call” situation. Sorry, economic vampires — Kwan can’t stay up all night. She has to get up early in the morning to train.