Before Donald Trump was elected POTUS, he was most famous for his onscreen reality show antics and catchphrases. While Trump is by no means the only celebrity or non-traditional candidate to take office (both Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger were actors in their own right before becoming president and the governor of California, respectively), the volatile nature of his presidency has encouraged other celebrities with presidential aspirations to come out in the open.
Famous people threatening to run for president are doing so for a myriad of reasons. Some genuinely believe they are capable of being the leader of the free world. Other celebrities hinting at presidential runs have done so in jest, but their fans believe they would make excellent presidents.
From rappers to social media moguls, here is every celebrity who threatened to run for president.
After her speech at the 2018 Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey had many people wishing she would run for president, and she was reportedly considering it.
Winfrey explained in the March 2018 issue InStyle that the presidency is not ultimately for her:
It's not something that interests me. I don't have the DNA for it. Gayle - who knows me as well as I know myself practically - has been calling me regularly and texting me things, like a woman in the airport saying, “When’s Oprah going to run?” So Gayle sends me these things, and then she’ll go, “I know, I know, I know! It wouldn’t be good for you - it would be good for everyone else.” I met with someone the other day who said that they would help me with a campaign. That’s not for me.
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In 2017, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson said he would seriously consider a run for president in 2020. He even mentioned it (or perhaps joked about it) while hosting Saturday Night Live.
However, that desire to run apparently didn't come from the star himself. "I can tell you with all honesty that the consideration comes at the desire from a large amount of people that would like to see this happen," Johnson said in an interview with Ellen Degeneres.
Of course, if he did run, that would make it harder for Johnson to star in five different blockbuster franchises every single year, which he noted in Variety, saying, "Realistically, as we go into 2018, when you look at my slate as we’re developing and shooting into 2019 and 2020, the slate goes deep into 2021, so it feels like the realistic consideration would be 2024."
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Ellen DeGeneres is near the top of a Ranker poll of celebrities that people would like to see become president, so she'd definitely have some people's votes.
She discussed the poll on her show, saying:
I love private planes, so that's appealing to me. But I have no political ambition whatsoever. I have a few ideas about how to make life better for people. Like, for instance if I were to be President I would close the gender pay gap. I don't think there should be any difference that. First on my agenda.
However, she added that her wife Portia de Rossi "would make a beautiful First Lady." So perhaps DeGeneres is leaving some room to reconsider a run down the line.
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While the 2016 election was in full swing, Kanye West told the BBC he intended to run himself in 2020.
However, after the election, West met with Donald Trump and then said he wouldn't run for president until 2024. In a tweet, West said, "I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change."
On December 13, 2016, he then tweeted a simple "#2024."
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