Celebrities in Politics

Former President Ronald Reagan (D)
Photo provided by Creative Commons

After Donald Trump’s Republican (R) presidential win, many people were shocked that a celebrity could win a political election. However, Donald Trump is not the first and will most likely not be the last celebrity to run for a political office.

Before Trump’s election, former President Ronald Reagan (R) was a Hollywood actor at the time of his candidacy. Before his political career, Reagan starred in an array of movies and started his political career during his film career. He first became the governor of California in 1967, then President of the United States in 1981.

In 1986 actor/director Clint Eastwood (R) won the majority vote and became Mayor of Carmel, Ca.. During his time as mayor, Eastwood made it clear that he had no further intention to run for any higher political office and only remained Mayor for two years.

Fred Grandy (R), television star from the show “The Love Boat,” became a U.S. Representative for the state of Iowa in 1987. He continued his political position until 1995, after which he became a radio host to a Washington, D.C. radio station.

Sonny Bono
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Sonny Bono (R), from the popular musical duo Sonny & Cher, was elected into congress in 1994 and served for four years until his death. He started his political career as Mayor of Palm Springs, Ca. in 1988 but prior to his time as mayor he had no previous political background.

In 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) became the Governor of California. Schwarzenegger was at the time, and still is, a successful movie star. At the time of his election the actor had no political experience, yet that did not stop him from being elected. Schwarzenegger has said that if not for his Austrian heritage and birth place, he would have run for President just as Reagan did.

While Donald Trump’s presidency seems controversial for some, for other celebrities it has sparked interest in the political sphere. While it is unsure if any other celebrities will actually run for a political office, many have expressed interest, whether they are serious or not remains unknown.

Chris Rock tweeted that he would run for President in 2020 against President Trump. While Twitter is not an official announcement, it is possible that the comedian is serious. While Rock has played the role of President in a movie, he currently has no political experience.

Kanye West publicly announced his interest in running for President multiple times. While at first he expressed his interest in running for office in 2020, a cryptic tweet that has since been deleted, that simply said “2024,” insinuates that Kanye has decided to wait until 2024 to run so that he does not have to run against the current President. Like Chris Rock and most of the other celebrities that have run for office, Kanye has no previous political experience.

While many find it controversial that the current President has no previous political experience, he is not the first celebrity elected to a political position without experience. However, he is the first celebrity since Reagan to be elected President and has since created interest in other celebrities who believe that they have what it takes to run the United States of America.

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