There's a lot about Donald Trump's young presidency that's stranger than fiction, so why should his choice to lead the Federal Reserve be any different?
The expiration of Chair Janet Yellen's five-year term next February, just eight months from now, has already prompted speculation in Washington and on Wall Street about whom Trump might tap to succeed her, with suggestions from the traditional to the far-fetched and the outright bizarre.
The most orthodox choice might be Yellen herself. The 70-year-old's departure isn't a given, though she and Trump haven't displayed any particular fondness for each other, and the president has a clear penchant for bringing in people in his own orbit.
Yellen has declined to say whether she would remain in the post, when asked, or to characterize her relationship with Trump. Or even, after a presentation in London this week, whether the president had asked her for a loyalty pledge as he did with former FBI Director James Comey.
"It's been a very long tradition in the United States for Federal Reserve officials to have good and close working relations with our counterparts in the administration," she said. "I've continued that tradition with [Treasury] Secretary [Steve] Mnuchin, and we confer about the economy and the outlook and issues pertaining to financial regulation where we both have interests and responsibilities."
Interpret that as you will.
Less in keeping with recent tradition but still reasonable might be Goldman-Sachs-exec-turned-Trump-economic-guru Gary Cohn, who's reportedly helming the search for a successor to Yellen -- and including himself on the shortlist of candidates. (It's a déjà vu moment for people who remember Dick Cheney leading George W. Bush's search for a vice presidential candidate in 2000, ultimately deciding there was no one better-suited than himself.)
Unlike Yellen and every Fed chair for the past three decades, who all had doctorates in economics, Cohn has only a bachelor's degree in the related discipline of finance.
Don't expect Trump to feel like he has to confine himself to the highly qualified or even the plausible, though -- his track record of doing otherwise is long.
His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been tasked with a litany of assignments, including bringing peace to the Middle East, handling diplomacy with Mexico and China and revamping government technology. Kushner's portfolio would be impossible for any individual to accomplish, let alone a semi-successful 36-year-old real estate developer and publisher.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry reportedly didn't know one of his biggest responsibilities would be overseeing the nation's nuclear arsenal until he had already accepted the job. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said schools need guns because of grizzly bears at her confirmation hearing. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon and author, said growing up in the inner city qualified him for his job.
Trump's social media manager, Dan Scavino, used to be his golf caddie. The administration tapped Lynne Patton, a longtime Trump associate whose credentials include organizing golf tournaments and son Eric Trump's wedding, to head HUD programs in New York and New Jersey.
With that in mind -- along with the Tweeter-in-chief's frequent blurring of the lines between life and death (he seemed to think Frederick Douglass was still alive) and fantasy and reality (he masqueraded as his own PR flack, John Barron) -- we've put together a list of candidates real, dead and fictional the president might consider.
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Editors' pick: Originally published June 9.