The era of celebrities and CEOs going straight to the White House may not begin and end with President Donald Trump. And now that the names of media billionaire Oprah Winfrey and Disney CEO Bob Iger have been floated as potential candidates, the possibilities of a series of celebs inhabiting the White House are getting a lot more real.
First, it's important to remember that while Mr. Trump's image before running for office was as a celebrity and a private real estate company CEO, it was his unique celebrity persona that was more important than the business resume and made him such a formidable candidate. That celebrity status gave him priceless name recognition in that field of 17 GOP candidates in the primaries. But just as importantly, his 30 years of sparring with the New York news media and 15 years worth of dealing with a sometimes combative reality show atmosphere on "The Apprentice" prepared President Trump for the rough political arena.
With that in mind, let's look at the top 5 celebrity/CEO presidential contenders and assess their pros and cons.
5) Leonardo DiCaprio
DiCaprio is one of Hollywood's most popular stars with a long history of political activism under his belt, especially when it comes to the environment. The New Republic got into the fray on this topic in January by putting DiCaprio on its short list of people who would make strong Democratic presidential candidates in 2020. And unlike many other celebrities of his stature, he's a little more used to mixing it up with critics as he often does when debating global warming and its effects.
But his drawbacks as a candidate are still very significant. A lot has changed about politics and the supposed prerequisites to run for office in America. But not everything. Unmarried, childless men running for office are at a distinct disadvantage for a number of reasons. Just think about how much of a chance Donald Trump would have had to win without his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka by his side, (less than zero). And DiCaprio's environmental focus is not much of a plus as concern about Climate Change has been falling in the polls for years, especially since the 2008 financial crisis. All bets are off if he suddenly becomes a leading voice in the fight for income equality or a similar additional cause.
4) Bob Iger