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John McAfee says he's considering presidential run

Technically Incorrect: The slightly controversial one-time security guru may stand alongside all the other slightly controversial individuals in the race.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Does he look presidential to you? John McAfee/Personal Photo

With Donald Trump and Ben Carson leading the Republican presidential candidates and Hillary Clinton redefining the concept of serv(er)ing the people, you wouldn't think there was any more room for charisma in the 2016 race for the White House.

Please don't be so sure about that.

For I hear a distant but ever-growing echo that another highly entertaining character is considering a run. And no, Kanye specifically said 2020, OK?

I am writing in respectfully hushed tones about John McAfee. He was once known as a computer security expert and then disappeared to have many adventures overseas, which included being wanted for questioning in connection with a murder in Belize.

Now, though, he sees the parlous condition of the United States and he wants to offer a secure tiller. "I personally am still in a quandary about whether to run myself or find someone else for my party. My advisers are pressing me to run," he told Wired.

Being pressed by advisers can't be a comfortable feeling. However, McAfee is still in two minds because he's hoping someone "smarter and more charismatic" might elevate their head and deserve his backing.

There surely can be few deserving enough.

McAfee explained that he thinks the government to be so ignorant in one particular area that he needed to make a stand. He told Wired: "It's clear that the leadership of our country is illiterate on the fundamental technology that supports everything in life for us now, that is cyber science, our smartphones, our military hardware, our communications."

It's true that the government has struggled with basics such as making Web sites work. But would the people want to listen to a message about technology? It's not as if people flock to hear every last word emerging from Edward Snowden.

Still, McAfee wants technology to be more secure. It's not dissimilar to national security -- or life in general -- though. Ultimate security seems impossible.

McAfee claims he's had thousands of e-mails begging him to run. This must be very flattering, especially if it's true. I worry, though, that he might make Trump look even more respectable than he does already.

Indeed, McAfee expressed admiration for the reality TV star and real estate mogul. "I have great respect for the man," McAfee said, adding that seeing Trump prosper had not influenced him.

This is quite believable. What's even more believable is that very few know who McAfee is. Americans are familiar with Mark Zuckerberg. They might be able to recognize Bill Gates. But so many tech luminaries are rather anonymous presences, and many are very happy about that.

What would happen if McAfee presented himself? Would he swash his buckle, roll onto CNN and immediately command the airwaves? Having once bumped into him in Miami while on a mental sabbatical (me, not him), I can attest that he has a raffish demeanor.

A McAfee presidential run would be as if Johnny Depp had forsaken "Pirates Of The Caribbean" and returned to sort out the woes on land. I don't know about you, but I see Charlie Sheen as his veep. Sheen has lineage. His dad was president.

McAfee/Sheen 2016. Feel safe, America. Feel really safe.