The most famous banker in America just went on national television live from the South Side of Chicago wearing a denim shirt with his sleeves rolled-up and proceeded to call himself a patriot at least four times, vaguely criticized the inert policy accomplishments of the current administration and praised his family for being the wind beneath his wings.
But, yeah, Jamie Dimon isn't interested in political office.
Let's bullet out the most campaign-y tidbits from what the Khaleesi of Wall Street told CNBC's Wilfred Frost:
- "We have to participate. We have to make society better for people."
- "I'm a very proud American."
- "America is the best country on the planet. I'm a complete patriot. There's nothing like this country. It is the shining city on a hill. But we should acknowledge our problems and fix them."
- "[We need to] start educating people on how important tax reform is for jobs and wages and businesses and small businesses. It's not about big business, it's about our country."
- "My major point [on tax reform] is that we should all get together and work as hard as we can to get it done. If we fail, we fail, but I'm going to work as hard as I can because I think it's critical to America."
- "Nothing should increase the risk of a bank...Do the right thing. Don't do the wrong thing and hurt my share price and hurt the American people at the same time."
- "I'm a patriot before I'm the CEO of JPMorgan."
- "Listen, I'm a patriot. I want to see all of my competitors do well."
- "I've always said; Family first, country second, JPMorgan literally last."
- "The American economy is 15o million people who go to work every day."
Jamie also touted the diversity he's fostered inside JPM and spoke dreamily about how his annual bus tour puts him in front of the American public that he so loves so dearly and is so lucky to serve in his capacity as "America's Banker." Frost also let Dimon go on at some length on his vision for improved American infrastructure and what it will do to better the lives of all Americans.
Overall, the optics of the interview felt like a beautifully crafted entry into a political campaign. From the shirt to the setting (a robotics lab that Jamie is funding to create opportunity for poor kids in one of America's most violent and depressed areas) to the purposeful focus on Jamie's love of This Great Country, the whole thing reeked of "Jamie 2020."
But then we got this:
FROST: One day, will you cease to be the critic of politics and step into the arena yourself?
JAMIE: [snickers] No. I'm not stepping into the arena.
But why the fuck not?
We've been pretty clear around here that Jamie is someone we'd like to see in DC. And while we're somewhat disappointed that he didn't make our dreams come true by knocking Steve Mnuchin's transition shades off his face and took that job at Treasury, we now realize that job was beneath Jamie. He doesn't belong at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue...he belongs at 1600.
A slim minority of the American public just voted a Queens-born businessman with bluster into the White House based on his business acumen, his aura of power and the idea that he was a self-made billionaire. Considering that Trump was bullshitting about those last three things, imagine what Jamie could do in a general election.
While we're a little annoyed that Jamie just spent 20 minutes of airtime coyly dipping his toe into the political pool, we're honestly more annoyed that he didn't just cannonball into that motherfucker.
So let us do it for him: "Jamie Dimon For President in 2020, Because Why The Hell Not?"