Indeed, since Trump’s win, the political c.w. on star-power has shifted. Democrats in particular are being urged to mine the ranks of the rich and famous for promising candidates. “Democrats would be better off if they ran Oprah or Tom Hanks,” asserted Michael Moore to CNN post-election. “Why don’t we run beloved people?”
The logic isn’t hard to grasp: If Trump—previously seen as the ultimate political joke—can pull it off, why not Angelina Jolie or Will Smith? Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg? Or the one celeb to rule them all, Oprah?
And why stop with the presidency? Ohio Democrats are reportedly pushing for trash-talk-show host Jerry Springer to run for governor. Unlike Trump, Springer has political experience: Once upon a time he was mayor of Cincinnati, and he has kept a toe in the Democratic pool over the years. Admittedly, Springer is hardly an Oprah-esque “culturally unifying figure.” Then again, he’s no more inflammatory than the current president. If anything, when Springer was flirting with a Senate run several years back, he struck me as too serious and earnest to properly exploit his notoriety. And few would argue that the man who once defined lowbrow culture is too fancy-pants in his image or sensibilities.