But Tuberville won the race like a landslide, thanks in part to his loyalty to Trump. The state of Alabama reprimanded a veteran politician in favor of a celebrity who claimed the three branches of government were “the House, the Senate and the Executive.” The institutional GOP made this Trump-centered, policy-light vision possible for their party. The 2020 Republican National Committee platform, for example, was a unilateral document that Trump clearly endorsed, but otherwise merely affirmed support for Trump’s 2016 platform in its entirety.
Freelance political scientist Drew Savicki said Tuberville’s election victories were likely due to Alabama’s exceptionally strong sports culture – a phenomenon that exists throughout the American South. “I would watch Glenn Jacobs, who is he [WWE] Wrestler Kane. He’s the Mayor of Knox County, ”said Savicki. “All along the line, I fully expect [Jacobs] running for governor. “WWE is the ultimate crossover of sports and entertainment – and Tennessee has endorsed the WWE Hall of Fame numerous times, endorsed Kane and overwhelmingly for Donald, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 Trump voted in both of his presidential applications.
Other celebrity candidates face an uphill battle. While the popularity of GOP candidates in the sports world and loyal support for Trump are enough to win office in the red states, Caitlyn Jenner has an extraordinarily slim chance of a recall election (if it actually happens) against California Governor Gavin Newsom up for grabs on recent polls.
In a recent one-on-one interview with Fox reporter Elex Michaelson, Jenner couldn’t answer a simple question about the size of the state budget – what, if it were a country, would make California the fifth largest economy in the world. The Republican candidate has also attracted attention for complaining in an interview with Sean Hannity that her state’s homelessness crisis was driving people like her pals from her private airplane hangar to leave the state. (Celebs, they’re just like us!)
Celebrities running for office like Jenner have one major downside: the celebrity of politicians themselves, who can demonstrate their communication skills to build formidable social media following and land appearances on late night shows, sometimes even legions of honest God fans. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a true superstar who has nearly 13 million Twitter followers, appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair and can generate media coverage in no time. Still, AOC has actually done the job of becoming a serious politician and a voice for the left.
She is the co-author of the Green New Deal and has served as a beacon for progressive ideas like Medicare For All and electoral reform. Compare that to a politician like Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican freshman from Georgia who got a national profile for supporting QAnon and generally acting like a comment troll. After the Democrats successfully ousted Greene from their House committees for adopting conspiracy theories, Greene tweeted, “I woke up early this morning and literally laughed thinking about what bunch of idiots the Democrats (+11) were for are to like someone in my free time. “
Greene’s jubilation over her removal from the committees is a reflection of her distorted view of the government’s role and role in it. “If you’re not on a committee, it means you don’t really have a direct voice on the legislation,” Baughman said. “And that’s probably why Congressmen are in Congress to make laws.” Greene seems to see Congress as a platform for showmanship and culture wars, not legislation.
Similarly, in an email Time received, 25-year-old Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn told his co-workers, “I’ve built my staff around communication rather than legislation” – essentially an admission that he is trying to Make a name for yourself instead of actually doing everything.
All of this is reminiscent of a remarkable line from the 2020 Democratic Platform Preamble: “If we don’t have competent, experienced, and compassionate leaders in government, the American people will suffer.” – Ex-basketball star Bill Bradley, Terminator icon Arnold Schwarzenegger and other athletes, actors and entrepreneurs have had long, dynamic political careers. But when a celebrity is running for elected office, it’s especially important to test their political acumen, question their opportunism, and analyze their motivations.
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