In a just-posted Variety interview with Elizabeth Wagmeister, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson says he’s seriously considering running for U.S. President. Before this interview Johnson has only admitted to flirting with the possibility — now he’s getting specific.
Not against Trump in 2020, of course — that would require serious courage, which Johnson apparently doesn’t have — but in 2024 when the electoral playing field will be relatively free and clear. If you ask me Johnson has revealed himself here as a political showboater — an ostensible good guy who wants to help but not if it requires growing a pair. He sounds, in fact, like an opportunistic coward.
Johnson totally contradicts himself in the interview, talking about his own Hollywood power, self-interest and movie-starring being more important for now than trying to change things in Washington, at least in a 2020 sense.
“I care deeply about our country, and I care deeply about our people,” Johnson says. “Decency matters and being a decent human being matters, and character matters, and leadership matters.”
And yet Johnson tells Wagmeister that a 2024 run “would be the realistic consideration” because he has more movies and more millions to make before he tries to restore big-government decency and character.
“Realistically, as we go into 2018, when you look at my slate as we’re developing and shooting into 2019 and 2020,” Johnson says, “[and] the slate goes deep into 2021, so it feels like the realistic consideration would be 2024.”
Jumping into the ’24 campaign would require speaking and fundraising commitments starting in early ’23, at which point Johnson would be 50 to 51 years old. He was born in May 1972.
I’m not misinterpreting or misquoting in the slightest way here. Johnson really has told Wagmeister that while he has serious arguments with Trump and that he’s giving serious thought to running because he cares about the U.S. and wants to restore a climate of decency and character, he can’t see running in ’20 because of existing commitments to make and produce a few more films.
On top of which Johnson expresses himself like a fence-straddling candy ass, saying stuff like “the best thing I can do is continuing to listen and learn as much as I can” and “watch our presidency and…how every new development is handled.” He says that he’s “hopeful that our leaders exhibit poise, perspective and the ability to bring our country together during these tough times — which I don’t feel our presidency is currently doing — so that’s where I’m at.”
What kind of Pollyanna bullshit is that, Dwayne? You’re “watching” and “listening” and still trying to decide if Trump is an authoritarian jackass and orangutan who cares only about attracting media attention and fortifying his own business empire? You’re not sure about who and what Trump is?
Honestly — who would you rather see run as the Republican party’s 2020 candidate for President, Trump or Johnson? Johnson strikes me as a conservative-leaning Type A mixed with a touch of Shallow Hal, a guy who loves being loaded and famous and influential. For all I know he might prove to be a mediocre or unfocused chief executive, but he could conceivably carry the ball and not screw things up too badly.
That possibility seems a lot more enticing than what we know for sure right now, which is that Trump is a ruthless corporatist and a malignant sociopath, and that his Presidency has put the country and its institutions in serious jeopardy. In all likelihood Johnson would be an improvement, and — this is the world in which we’re now living — he could probably beat Trump in the ’20 primaries and become the Republican candidate.
All the more reason for Tom Hanks to seriously think about running in ’20. I’m completely serious. The likelihood of Hanks beating Trump would be far greater than if, say, Kamala Harris, Kristen Gillibrand or Bernie Sanders were to run. Plus if Hanks wins Johnson will have a tougher fight on his hands when he runs in ’24. A voice in my chest tells me Hanks would also beat Johnson if they run against each other in ’20.
Hanks, Johnson or a monkey running the country from 1.20.21 to 1.20.25?
This isn’t an SNL skit. It’s real. Celebrity-level, name-brand candidates (i.e., good-looking alpha males) have won elections before, and Johnson could easily beat Trump’s ass if he puts his mind to it.
Johnson calls himself an independent, but that feels like a dodge. He’s always struck me as a green Republican in the Arnold Schwarzenegger mold, and an industry gladhander who — don’t forget — has never starred in a single decent film in his career.
Johnson’s theoretical 2024 run would follow in the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was aerved as California Governor from ’03 to ’11.
From “If Dwayne Johnson Is Starring, It’s Probably Empty, Glossy Dogshit,” posted on 12.8.16: “Dwayne Johnson is a comme ci comme ca Republican who’s out to make dough and keep things as vapid and formulaic as possible. An amiable baba with a ripped bod. During the Obama era Johnson became one of the biggest emblems of the constellation of multicultural superstardom; now there’s something about him that smells a little Trumpish. His shallow opportunist colors are showing all the more.”