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John Chambers for President?

Could politics be the Cisco chief's next move?

5:15 PM -- Could John Chambers take his West Virginia drawl all the way to the White House? The Cisco CEO faced questions on this topic at a press briefing during this week's Networkers Live event but gave little away about any long-term political plans. (See Chambers Wades Into Web 2.0.)

With presidential candidate John McCain reportedly happy to give Chambers a place in his cabinet, there has been speculation that the exec may eventually make the leap from California to the Capitol.

The Cisco supremo, who is already an adviser on McCain's 2008 presidential bid, downplayed any political aspirations during a press briefing in Anaheim this week. "It's an honor to be considered, but I am really committed to this company," he said, adding that, like many CEOs, he thinks in three to five-year timeframes.

The exec, who is the son of doctors, nonetheless admitted that he is drawn to the idea of public service. "I think that people who are successful in this country have an obligation to give back," he explained, in response to a journalist who asked whether he would consider teaching or a possible government role in the future.

Just imagine, though, if Chambers were to make it all the way to the Oval Office. Somehow I have a mental image of the new president climbing into the audience at a White House press conference, in much the same way as he conducts his keynotes today. Would he take his trusty side-kick (and Cisco chief demonstration officer) Jim Grubb along with him to illustrate the finer points of foreign policy? (See Chambers Touts 'Network of Networks'.)

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