Leadership

Bill Gates reveals the surprisingly simple reason he won’t run for president in 2020

President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, who have donated billions of dollars globally to promote health and fight poverty, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House November 22, 2016 in Washington, DC.
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President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, who have donated billions of dollars globally to promote health and fight poverty, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House November 22, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says he won't run for president in 2020. The billionaire offers a simple explanation: He's content with the work that he's currently doing.

In a recent "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit, a commenter asked Gates, "Will you consider running for President in 2020?"

"I won't be running for President because I am super committed to the work Melinda and I are doing at the Foundation and outside the Foundation," Gates wrote, referring to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that he and his wife spearhead.

Although his answer left many Reddit users disappointed, the billionaire highlighted the most important qualities a future president should have. "It is important to have a President who thinks long term about the US role in the world and the research to solve disease burdens and costs and to tackle climate change and improve education," he wrote.

The billionaire also said that most people expect too much from government. "Yes, government can do better but local groups can do a lot that government can't — helping out in schools, reaching out to people in poverty," he wrote. "This is also true internationally."

Instead of relying so heavily on the government for change, Gates said that he would like to see the "civil society sector" take the lead in promoting these reforms. "Some issues like abortion or even immigration we may never get a consensus on but there are things like better health and better education that we can achieve," he wrote.

This isn't the first time Reddit users have asked Gates whether he plans on running for president. In a 2016 Reddit AMA, his answer was similar to this year's: "I like my current job at the [Bill & Melinda Gates] Foundation better than I would being president," he wrote. "Also I wouldn't be good at doing what you need to do to get elected."

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