In yesterday’s installment, I discussed who I can see being a potential pick and even a potential problem on the Democrats’ currently depleted political bench. The pickings are indeed slim but it only takes one solid candidate with a schmucky message and a little grievance group appeal to make a game changer. Take Barry himself. Lots of folks went into the 2008 campaign knowing it was John McCain’s “turn” and figuring the Democratic nomination (and with it the election) was Hillary Clinton’s to lose. Enter the freshman senator from Illinois and suddenly you had a primary that went on until places like Guam had weighed in. Compared to the fight she gave Barack Obama, the fight Bernie put up against Hillary was nothing.
In all honesty I expect the Democrats’ next candidate will come from the ranks of their career politicians. These folks aren’t the kind to learn from their mistakes and are more the doubling-down type, so I’m not figuring they will start thinking outside the box anytime soon. However, it is folly not to acknowledge that with all the awesome he has already brought and promises to bring, Donald Trump’s presidency does not come without some consequences. For the first time, a citizen of the country that tells all its children that anyone can be president has demonstrated that it really is true, you don’t have to climb the political ladder to get the big job, and he parlayed real world success, loudmouthed celebrity, and unabashedly patriotic populism into a juggernaut even four million cheating votes couldn’t stop. As amazing as that is, we’d do well to remember that the left has all but an absolute monopoly on celebrity and plenty of successful people to bankroll them. So the second part of this post is devoted to the Hollywood types and other out-of-politics big names who I could see making an actual stab at this in 2020 or shortly thereafter–this’ll be limited to the ones who I can see making an actual attempt worth concern, since there’s no shortage of Twitter warriors in Hollywood who are about as shallow as a puddle in the desert.
And I’m also not counting Kanye.
Ashley Judd: Don’t laugh…not too hard anyway. Ashley Judd was floated briefly as a contender for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s seat in 2014. Although this pipe dream flamed out before it could get off the launch pad, clearing the way for “rising star” Alison Lundergan Grimes to get her hindparts kicked by Mitch in the general election, Ashley did go through the first rounds of political grooming and developed a considerable nationwide following due to the seat she would have been gunning for. However, she showed some serious cracks in her facade that were enough to take her out of contention before she even formally entered, so I don’t put her at more than a pipe dream even now. Practically no chance of the nomination, Mondale numbers in the general.
Meryl Streep: Meryl has maintained a streak of Hollywood awards shows now where she has demonstrated why she is the queen of Hollywood social justice warriors, bravely standing up against the wage gap myth (in a room full of people who also believe in that particular fairy tale) or boldly attacking Donald Trump using a tired old campaign lie that everyone in the room thought was true. I think Meryl could make an honest run of it and would have leftist feminists swooning for a short time before demonstrating she’s only as smart as her scripted dialogue, and turning on the waterworks isn’t going to win her any debates. I figure if she ran she’d be a Bernie, she’d make a lot of waves and have a very dedicated core of supporters but in the end the party just wouldn’t let her happen because there’s no way that’d sell anywhere but in LA and NYC.
Beyonce: She practically runs her own cult as it is. The scary thing about her is that she has good enough handlers and enough resources to actually pull something together, but while her wild popularity might give her an astronomical celebrity edge, trying to do something more than twerk and sing her own name would quickly reach past the grasp of this legendary being she purports to be. She has the grievance groups nailed down but I don’t think we’ve quite gone full Idiocracy yet. I don’t think her ego would hold up nor do I think she and Jay-Z would be willing to take the pay cut. If she did go for it I call her another Bernie, and if she made it through she’d do better than Meryl but still not sway middle America.
Oprah Winfrey: Speaking of women who run their own cults… the biggest difference between Oprah and Beyonce would be Oprah isn’t as brazenly sexual. She replaces Beyonce’s condescending arrogance with a form of condescending superiority, which I know sounds like the same thing but I liken it to the difference between a mean pretty girl and a know-it-all spinster aunt. Again, she nails the grievance groups pretty hard and has the added benefit of being successful, not just rich. Her problem would be putting herself in front of the polls and also taking the massive pay cut. I think if she went for the nomination she’s even money to get it, and whether she could go all the way would depend entirely on how well Trump does between here and 2020.
Tom Hanks: Now we’re getting serious. Hanks is a well known Barry sycophant and a very well respected actor in all circles, and has reportedly been toying with the idea of running already. He scores a big fat zero on the grievance group scale but he balances that out with his appeal to everyday Americans–hell, he can probably convince a not-insignificant number of voters he was part of the D-Day invasion because of “Saving Private Ryan.” I would honestly put Tom at a better chance of winning the election than winning the primary. Without the grievance groups behind him he’d have some trouble building a support base but once he got through the primary I think he’d be a serious contender.
Leonardo DiCaprio: I have to say, of all the celebrities I can think of who run their mouths on political matters, Leo gets the biggest “please please please for the love of God no” response from me. Leo’s a watermelon through and through, jet-setting around the world to share his lack of knowledge about the cult of Gaia because he’s a famous person, causing a carbon footprint that would make Godzilla blush but it’s okay because he cares. He can counterbalance his lack of grievance group status by showing his credentials as High Priest of Environmental Fascism. And beyond that, he’s a pretty boy. Face it folks, women swooned over Billy Jeff, they swooned over Barry, and they’ll be falling all over themselves to make this dreamy guy president–lady parts and glass ceilings be damned. He’s insipid enough to make Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho look like Ted Cruz but all that all too many female voters will hear is “Don’t ever let go…(glubglubglub)” and they’ll weep for the memories while they vote for Jack. And most importantly, Leo’s activities in the ecofreak community have more than likely set up the scaffolding that could be easily repurposed into a campaign apparatus. I could see him being a juggernaut in the Democratic primary and a tough contender in the general election, again largely hinging on how President Trump does.
As I said before, four years is a long time. This post might get additional parts as time goes on. Make your suggestions in the comments and don’t worry if the topic’s a little stale when you get here, it’ll be relevant for a while to come.