In a recent interview with USA Today, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson -- also known as “The People’s Champion” -- said he would run for president of the United States if the people wanted it. And it turns out that the people might want it.
In a recent data analysis conducted by Piplsay, a near-majority of Americans voiced their support for The Rock’s presidential run in some way. Adding the political aspirations of Matthew McConaughey, who expressed an interest in running for governor of his native Texas, put support of a celebrity politican into the majority.
The survey goes on to ask respondents which celebrities they would most support for the role of commander in chief. Hey, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Trump held office, so why not these 10 celebrity would-be presidents?
1. Angelina Jolie
Jolie became the top choice at 30% of those who voted for a celebrity president. It wouldn’t be the first time the actress has held a political position. She was once a United Nations special enjoy for the High Commissioner for Refugees.
Though she’s known for holding a few liberal positions on the issues, her father, actor Jon Voight, is known for his conservative views. Maybe President Jolie could have a real bipartisan streak.
2. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah came in at second place with 27% of the vote. For the record, Oprah doesn’t need a political party. She was No. 20 on Forbes’ list of the World’s Most Powerful Women, so she could run on her own dime. If President Trump was elected on his business acumen and net worth, then Oprah should have no trouble throwing her hat into the ring.
The idea has been floated past her before, but the media mogul has said she would need a “sign from God” before she ever would.
3. Tom Hanks
A full 22% of respondents chose Hanks as their pick for celebrity commander in chief. In 2016, filmmaker Michael Moore suggested Hanks run for president in 2020 as the Democrats’ answer to Trump. The actor quickly put the kibosh on the idea, saying he wanted to “strangle” Moore for making the suggestion.
“Just because I’m an actor, I can give a good speech. I agree with that,” he said. “But the concept of actually voting for someone just because they can do that? Then Monty Hall could be president!”
It might be hard to imagine Hanks as president of the United States, but it’s even harder to imagine him strangling Moore.
4. Will Smith
As recently as March 2021, Smith has said publicly that a run for president could be in the future for him “at some point down the line.” He was talking to Jon Favreau, former speechwriter for President Barack Obama and host of the “Pod Save America” podcast. Still, 21% of respondents thought he would be a good candidate.
5. George Clooney
As Clooney’s interest in politics began to rise in the days leading to the 2020 election cycle, rumors circulated that Obama encouraged Clooney to run if it was in his best interest. Clooney ruled himself out, but he still received 17% of the vote.
"I am not going to get into politics. It doesn't seem like a very logical place for me to be able to apply what skills I have. I don't have to make compromises for the things that I stand for and the things I believe in, like politicians do. So it is not something that interests me," Clooney said.
6. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
If you want The Rock to be the People’s Champion officially, you need to tell him. As previously mentioned, he won’t throw his hat in the ring unless the people give him a clear mandate that they want The Most Electrifying Man in Presidential History.
7. Leonardo DiCaprio
If DiCaprio ran for president, his signature issue probably would be climate change. The actor met with then-President-Elect Donald Trump after the 2016 election to present a comprehensive plan for green energy innovation, but it didn’t seem to amount to much.
In the days leading to the 2020 election cycle, fans started a petition to encourage DiCaprio to run for the office himself, but that doesn’t seem to have amounted to much, either. Thirteen percent of those who responded said he would have their support, but there’s no sign that Leo wants to give up life on his private island in Belize for the very public life at the White House.
8. Dolly Parton
Dolly already displayed good-ol’ American leadership by helping the country during the coronavirus pandemic when she partially funded vaccine research at Vanderbilt University. When the time came, she publicly received the Moderna vaccine along with treatments for helping those affected by the virus. Dolly puts her money where her mouth is.
That $1 million donation has led to calls from fans for her to run for president, and 12% of those surveyed agreed that she would be their choice for the next celebrity commander in chief. You already can buy “Dolly for President” T-shirts.
9. Harrison Ford
Ford already demonstrated his presidential leadership ability by kicking Gary Oldman’s corpse off Air Force One in 1997. Today, he would be a dark-horse candidate for celebrity president, with 10% of the voters’ support.
10. Robert Downey Jr.
Unlike most Hollywood types, many of which are on this list, Downey is one of very few who has identified as a political conservative in the past, especially after his time spent in prison. The once and future Iron Man described his political views to The New York Times in 2008 as “interesting.” Nine percent of survey respondents are interested.
-- If you have strong feelings about this list, Blake Stilwell can be reached at email@example.com. He can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook. But before you go typing away, consider that he left Jane Fonda off the list, even though 6% of Americans would consider voting for her.
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