Despite that sobering example, the lingering question is whether any Democrat will risk a similar fate. You never know who might take the plunge. In my recently published novel, a fictional Las Vegas-based rock star named Tyler Sloan runs for office as an independent for a Nevada Senate seat. Could a Sloan-like candidate emerge — a celebrity who could match Schwarzenegger’s appeal?
This celebrity candidate wouldn’t have to come from Hollywood. What about a super-wealthy entrepreneur who does not care about the repercussions within the Democratic Party because he has no traditional path to political office anyway? The examples that come to mind are billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, both of whom tried to buy their way to the Democratic presidential nomination last year. Bloomberg is a confirmed New Yorker, but Steyer, although born in Manhattan, put down roots and made his fortune in San Francisco, Gavin Newsom’s hometown.
Last year, Newsom made Steyer a co-chair of a star-studded economic task force to deal with the fallout from the pandemic and accompanying lockdown. But the governor inexplicably dissolved that group three months ago. I wonder how Tom Steyer, a restless sort, plans to spend 2021?