10 celebrities who could run for office

Reality show mogul and now President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s electoral success this year could encourage more celebrities to step into politics—and encourage more parties not to rely on the usual pool of figures when looking for candidates.

Some of these celebrities have expressed interest in pursuing a run, while others have been floated as possible candidates for either 2020 or 2024. 

Of course, for every successful celebrity-turned-politician like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan, or Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPolitical world mourns loss of comedian Jerry Stiller Maher to Tara Reade on timing of sexual assault allegation: ‘Why wait until Biden is our only hope?’ Democrats begin to confront Biden allegations MORE (D-Minn.), there’s a failed celebrity bid like singer Clay Aiken’s 2014 congressional run for famous entertainers to consider.

Here are 10 celebrities who could make the jump from show business to politics:

Kanye West

The rapper announced his intention to run for president in 2020 at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, but it looks like he’s planning to hold off for another four years.


At his concert a week after the November election, West told the audience he would have cast a vote for Trump if he had voted, then promoted his future 2020 run, saying he’d be a “different type of president.”

West created major buzz over his unexpected visit to Trump Tower earlier this month. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Trump said they discussed “life” and called West a longtime “friend.”

Following the meeting, Kanye said they addressed “multicultural issues” and capped off his series of tweets with an enigmatic “#2024.”

Oprah Winfrey 

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore floated Winfrey as a potential presidential candidate shortly after this year’s election, saying that Democrats should take a page from Republicans’ playbook and back a celebrity run.

“Why don’t we run beloved people? We have so many of them,” Moore told CNN. “The Republicans do this—they run Reagan and the Terminator [Schwarzenegger] and other people.” 

The talk show host eventually endorsed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE over the summer. Before that, though, Trump said last year he would “love” to have her as his running mate.

Still, Winfrey has previously said she’ll never mount a presidential campaign.

“I can tell you one thing you can be assured of in this lifetime: As long as I’m black, I will not be running for office,” Winfrey told “Extra” last year. “Never.”

Tom Hanks 

Moore also named Hanks as a possible 2020 contender for Democrats. 

Hanks’s recent speech at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, in which he sought to calm fears about a Trump presidency, fueled speculation and calls for him to consider his own candidacy.

But Hanks, a 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, tamped down expectations.

“Just because I’m an actor, I can give a good speech, I agree with that,” he told Vulture. “But the concept of actually voting for someone just because they can do that? Then [game show host] Monty Hall could have been president of the United States!”

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George Clooney 

The Oscar-winning actor has made a name for himself beyond Hollywood.

Clooney has become a high-profile humanitarian activist as a United Nations’ Messengers of Peace and named to TIME’s “Most Influential People in the World” in 2009.

He formed the advocacy group, Not on Our Watch, with fellow actors Matt Damon and Brad Pitt, in 2008 to address global human rights violations.

Clooney is regularly floated as a future politician, but seemed to rule it out last year. 

“I’ve been asked that for almost 20 years now and the answer is just no” he said. “Who would ever want to live like that?”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson 

Once known throughout the world of professional wrestling as “The People’s Champion,” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson could one day vie to become “The People’s President.”

Trump’s victory led Johnson to tell Vanity Fair that he couldn’t rule out a future presidential bid.

The wrestling and acting superstar has a bit of political history: he spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2000 and is a registered Republican. 

And he took to Instagram this summer to highlight a story in the Washington Post that teased out a potential bid for the “Ballers” and “Fast and the Furious” series star.

“I care DEEPLY about our county… and the idea of one day becoming President to create real positive impact and global change is very alluring,” he wrote.

“Buuuuut until that possible day, the most important thing right now is strong honest leadership from our current and future leaders of this country.”

Chris Rock

The popular comedian has never run for office, but he’s played one on the silver screen. 

Rock starred in the 2003 movie “Head of State,” where he played a local Washington D.C. politician tapped to run for president as a replacement candidate after the nominee died in a plane crash.

Just two days after Trump’s victory, Rock tweeted “I’m gonna run in 2020 wish me luck” with a picture of the “Head of State” poster. Later in November, he tweeted a picture of a “Vibe” magazine cover with the headline “Chris Rock for president.” 

“A big announcement is coming soon,” Rock wrote.

The comedian hasn’t shied away from political stances in his acts or public statements, blasting the lack of an indictment in the 2014 officer-involved death of New York City resident Eric Garner.

Katy Perry 

The pop star was a fierce Clinton supporter, performing a get-out-the-vote concert days before Election Day.

Her chart-topping song “Roar” frequently played at Clinton rallies, and Perry also performed at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Perry’s involvement in politics has prompted speculation over whether she’ll hold office one day.

She stoked rumors about a potential future bid in an Instagram picture of her standing between former Presidents Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWill the ‘law and order’ president pardon Roger Stone? Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden The sad spectacle of Trump’s enablers MORE and George W. Bush with the caption, “42, 43, 46?!”

In late November, Perry received a humanitarian award from UNICEF. Hillary Clinton presented her the award in a surprise appearance.

Will Smith

The chaos of the recent election could throw the movie star and singer into the “Wild Wild West” of electoral politics.

In a late 2015 CBS interview, the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Men in Black” star pointed to Trump’s rhetoric about building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country as a reason he could seek political office. 

“If people keep saying all the crazy kinds of stuff they’ve been saying on the news lately about walls and Muslims, they’re going to force me into the political arena,” Smith said, without naming Trump directly. 

Smith said he would only aim for the White House. “I mean, I gotta be the President. Come on! What else would I run for?”

But a month before the 2016 election, Smith said that his past statement shouldn’t be taken seriously. “I was really kind of joking when I said that,” Smith told Entertainment Tonight.

Tim McGraw 

The country music singer, who has been active in encouraging Americans to head to the polls for years, has regularly expressed his interest in politics.

In 2006, McGraw—a Democrat—told Esquire he’d consider jumping into politics in 10 or 15 years. But McGraw has noted that he would want to wait until his children were grown up and feel prepared to make the leap from singing to campaigning.

“If one of these days I’m in a position where I can give back and feel like I’m smart enough to help and not just doing it for the hell of doing it, then it would be something I’d consider,” told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2012.

Mark Cuban 

The billionaire Dallas Mavericks’ owner emerged during the 2016 race as one of Trump’s chief antagonists, letting no opportunity to needle the Republican nominee pass. 

He endorsed Clinton while calling Trump a “jagoff” and attending the debate as her guest. The “Shark Tank” investor regularly questioned whether Trump has been as successful in business as he claims.

He, like Trump, has long publicly weighed a presidential bid but recently brushed the prospect aside.

“I have no interest in politics. I have no interest in running for mayor, senator, governor, congressman or even batboy,” he said before the election, according to the Dallas Morning News. 

But while he’s publicly sworn off a bid, the speculation continues to mount now that Trump has proven a businessman can win. 

Ben Kamisar contributed.