Donald Trump’s success during the 2016 presidential election has inspired more celebrities to run for political office in the United States, said John Brabender, a Republican strategist. Brabender, head of the political consulting firm BrabenderCox, revealed he had received calls from two "pretty high-level national celebrities" who told him about their desire to try their hand in politics.
"In a strange and odd way, Trump sort of broke some barriers and shattered some glass ceilings ... and showed there are alternate paths", Brabender told The Hill.
Politicians have to spend millions of dollars in order to boost their image and secure the support of millions of people; celebrities, on the other hand, have no such problem as they already have massive fan bases, says Cooper Lawrence, radio host and author of the book "Celebritocracy: The Misguided Agenda of Celebrity Politics in a Postmodern Democracy". It is much easier for celebrities to try their hand in politics than for average Joes and Janes, says Lawrence, although she admits that the A-listers may experience problems due to comments they have made in the past, or their eccentric behaviour.
The news comes more than a week after Caitlyn Jenner, former Olympic champion and star of the Keeping Up with the Kardashians, announced her decision to run for governor of California. Jenner, 71, said she would run as a Republican in the recall election against incumbent Governor Gavin Newsom. Media reports said she has already assembled a team, including some of Donald Trump’s former advisers.
Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who himself became California’s governor in 2003 in a recall election, said Jenner has a good chance to defeat Governor Newsom.
Other Celebrities Considering a Political Career
Jenner’s decision to run for office prompted another actor, Randy Quaid, to throw his hat in the ring. The Golden Globes laureate and Oscar nominee promised to get rid of corruption if he is elected governor of California.
I’m seriously considering running for governor. The prosecutorial corruption in California (esp Santa Barbara & the Bell scandal) is rampant; and I promise that if elected I will clean up the District Attorney Offices throughout the state. #RandyQuaid4CAGOV— Randy Quaid (@RandyRRQuaid) April 27, 2021
Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey, who is currently on tour to promote his memoir, started flirting with the idea of running for governor of Texas back in 2020. Just recently, the Interstellar and Dallas Buyers Club star revealed that he is now seriously considering doing so, and it seems the public approves of it.
An April poll conducted by the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas revealed that more Texas voters would back the actor than incumbent Governor Greg Abbott in a hypothetical vote.
But many celebrities aim higher and want to become the next president of the United States. Earlier this year, actor Will Smith announced that he would make a decision about running for president "at some point" in the future. Speaking on the podcast "Pod Save America", the 52-year-old said he would let the office "get cleaned up a little bit" before considering whether or not to follow in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan, who prior to serving two terms as the president of the United States, was a Hollywood actor.
Here is another celebrity that many Americans think should run for office – wrestler and actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. In the past presidential election, he was the third most popular candidate after Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. A recent poll conducted by Piplsay found that 46 percent of respondents were interested in him running for president.
The wrestler-turned-actor hinted that he was willing to launch a presidential bid, although he did not reveal when he was planning to run.
"I also feel that, if this is what the people want, then I will do that", Johnson told NBC correspondent Willie Geist, adding that he wants to unite the country.
Another celebrity that many Americans want to see in the Oval Office is US talk show host Oprah Winfrey. In 2017, she said that Donald Trump’s victory made her seriously consider running for president.
"I never considered the question even a possibility. I thought, 'oh, gee, I don’t have the experience. I don’t know enough'. Now, I’m thinking: Oh!"
© AP PhotoOprah Winfrey presents the Governors Award during the 72nd Emmy Awards telecast on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020 at 8:00 PM EDT/5:00 PM PDT on ABC.
Last year, Winfrey revealed that wealthy people have called her and offered "a billion dollars" to help with the campaign. But the TV host said she would try her hand in politics only under one condition – if Heaven tells her to. Winfrey said she had prayed to God asking Him to show a sign so "clear that not even" she could miss it. It would appear there has not been a sign from above.
Last on the list of celebrities who have voiced their desire or who may potentially run for president is the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle. Reports say the Los Angeles-born actress has told her friends about her interest in trying her hand in politics.
In March, media reported that she and Prince Harry had hired a political aide who worked with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign.
Moreover, a former British official who worked under Prime Minister Tony Blair told the Daily Mail that Meghan has been meeting with senior members of the Democratic Party to discuss a potential presidential bid and ways to build fundraising teams. Reports say that the Duchess may throw her hat in the ring in 2024, if incumbent President Joe Biden, who will turn 82 that year, decides not to run for a second term.