She is a sitcom-star from the 90’s but she is running for a presidential nomination under the Green Party. We watched him in action movies but our children know him better as the former Governor of California. Our girlfriends and sisters are in love with him but the stadiums are no longer enough for him… Roseanne Barr, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jon Bon Jovi are some of the celebrities who got involved in politics. But only a few manage to actually make a change. Why do they make these careers moves? Are they really helping?
“The Democrats and Republicans have proven that they are servants – bought and paid for by the 1 percent – who are not doing what’s in the best interest of the American people”. This is how American actress Roseanne Barr, 59, announced on February 2nd her candidacy for the 2012 presidential nomination. Obviously not running for either of the two main parties, she will be seeking the nomination for the Green Party. Describing herself as a “longtime supporter” of the Greens, she has already submitted all the paperwork needed to make her candidacy official. Calling for the “99%” (how the people who started the “Occupy Wall Street” movement call themselves), this is the first time she gets seriously involved in politics.
To most people, Barr is best known for her rendition of a working-class mother in the Emmy Award-winning sitcom Roseanne (1988-1997) and honestly, the woman she was portraying had nothing of a President. Loud and almost exclusively communicating by swearing, she was more of a farce than a role model: one of the reasons why Barr’s candidacy might not be taken seriously.
As the name of the candidate for the Green Party will be known in July, when a convention in Baltimore will be held, Roseanne Barr tries to buy herself some legitimacy and assures she “has been committed for years”, especially in what concerns “working-class families and women”. But Barr’s ambition is certainly not to attain the White House. She knows the Green Party is a third-party and like many other candidates of smaller organizations, she says she is seeking to draw attention to issues that are important to her. On top of her list – student loans, credit card debts, healthcare, legalization of marijuana and gay rights.
Barr says she will be over present in the media these next months, and that she will make sure that the “needs of average American” are heard. But if Barr’s ambitions are quite small and maybe even altruist, some other celebrities have put a foot on the political landscape. A big foot actually.
Austrian-born actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 64, used to be known for his big muscles and his very philosophical film productions
such as The Terminator (1984), Commando (1985) or Total Recall (1990). But in 2003, and after years of speculations on whether he would do it or not, Schwarzenegger announced he would be running for the office of Governor of California. The actor and bodybuilder three times elected Mister Universe (1968, 1969 and 1970) had been an active Republican supporter for years. He was always clear in his positions and never hid his preferences. His actions as a Governor were surprisingly for many people quite legitimate and his team composed of Democrats was a way to introduce a more moderate policy: a smart move according to the 2006 elections – when he was re-elected with 56% of the votes. The political career of Schwarzenegger could have been perfect but the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. On the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, he was not clear at first which candidate he would support, and after many months of hesitation, he finally sided with John McCain in January.
The years of Schwarzenegger as a Governor were quite controversial, but many people thought he would run for the Senate in 2010. In a report from April 2010, the progressive ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington called him one of the “worst eleven governors” in the US. He was accused of embezzlement or offering jobs to his friends. But Schwarzenegger tried and helped California: his assessment is not too shameful, and as the Time wrote on November 1st 2010, when Governor Schwarzenegger left the office, the bad shape of the economy did not help him, as much as it did not help any other governor. Sure thing is, he did not convert into a politician to make more personal money. As a matter of fact, because of the millions he earned from his acting years, he never accepted his governor’s salary, which represented at the time $175,000 per year.
Livin’on A Prayer
Talking about a political career when it comes to Jon Bon Jovi, 49, leader of rock band Bon Jovi would be too much of an exaggeration. Let’s keep to political activism. Openly Democrat for many years, he publicly supported presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 as well as President Barack Obama in 2008. Jon Bon Jovi is a lot committed to his original state, New Jersey, in which he often organizes with his band fundraising events and concerts for reconstruction projects or for the Democrat Party. Funny fact thought, disregarding all Jon Bon Jovi’s actions for the Democrat Party, he is not an official member.
In 2007, it was rumored that he would run for the January 2008 position of Governor of New Jersey, but many complaints from people living there stopped his ambitions. As he lives in Manhattan, New York (NY), people from New Jersey thought he kept his house in Red Bank (NJ) with the only perspective of eyeing the New Jersey office. A strong anti-Bon Jovi campaign was organized and the singer never presented his candidacy.
But Jon’s support for Obama was not futile since in December 2010 President Obama appointed him to the White House Council in Community Solutions, which mission is to “support the nationwide Call To Service campaign authorized in the Serve America Act”. The mission is to last until the end of 2012.
A piece of creamy and delicious cake is tempting, but some celebrities actually care and want to make a change. They think they have the opportunity to make their ideas come out since they are already familiar with the media. In the US, it has almost become a common thing, and nearly every celebrity has already expressed its political opinion. It is very different in other countries, especially in Europe, where the United Kingdom cannot forgive easily something that could be considered a betrayal.