Hey 3.5 readers.
I was listening to Howard Stern today (he actually came into work) and he had an interesting take on all the talk about President Oprah.
He said (and I remember this) years ago, he ran for Governor of New York as a goof. He didn’t want the job and just did it as a promotion, to get his name out there and get some free press. He didn’t think anyone would take him seriously so got scared when he actually ranked high in the polls. Political consultants began getting in touch with him, sure he had a good shot at winning.
He backed out of it because he felt he would not do a good job. He’s a funny radio guy and while he enjoys that and he has been successful as an entertainer, he did not believe he could handle the job of being governor – the tough decisions, the turmoil, the scrutiny, the studying, the non-stop nature of the job, 24/7 and weekends. Ultimately, people rely on the Governor and he didn’t think he could deliver.
He thought maybe he might have won and who knows, perhaps from there he might have had a shot at the presidency but he didn’t want it. He did not believe he would do a good job and so bowed out so an actual politician could win.
He likened his situation to Oprah and said that as a celebrity, especially one that came from humble beginnings without much money (as he and Oprah did) it is tempting to want everything, to take every offered opportunity, to do every TV show, movie, book, business venture, everything because no matter how big you get, you fear it might all go away and so it’s easy to see the presidency as the ultimate plaything, to increase your fame and status…but ultimately, you have to think not of yourself but of the country.
I think he has a good point and I’m wondering if we aren’t going down a path where perhaps there should be a mandate that to win the presidency you must hold some kind of prior office first? Reagan was an actor, but he did go on to run a union and serve as governor of California. He did his homework and got his government training.
I mean…when we hear of President the Rock….come on. I don’t care how loved of a celebrity you are, the second you run for office, half the country will hate you. Why not stay a celebrity and be loved by all?
On the other hand, TV has really screwed politics up, for years now. Gone are the days when character, knowledge and experience matter. How photogenic are you? What’s your social media following like?
Howard said we need a modern day Winston Churchill but I have news for him – Winston could not win office today. “Who’s that chubby little bald man with froggy voice? Get him off the stage and put a squared jawed, perfect haired dummy in his place!”
In other words, politics and entertainment are hand in hand now, such that you can’t be an actor if you aren’t a hottie and let’s face it, you can’t be a politician unless you’ve got that super star quality either.