From actor Ronald Reagan and singer Sonny Bono, to wrestler Jesse Ventura and TV host Stephen Colbert, the list of celebrities who have run for political office in the United States (and even been elected) includes dozens of people. The last presidential election saw rapper Kanye West make a failed bid for the Oval Office.
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.
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.