Now that Twitter-aholic sex fiend New York congressman Anthony Weiner is clearly out of the picture as the frontrunner to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor of New York City in November 2013, Alec Baldwin is thinking of throwing his hat in the ring. The only thing standing in his way, technically, is that he needs to re-register as a voter in Manhattan. (He's currently listed as a voter in Suffolk County, on the east of Long Island.) But obviously that's minor paperwork.
The real hurdle is the fact that he's known for making us laugh on SNL and 30 Rock and offering up killer dramatic performances in quite a few huge films over the past 30-ish years ... not for politics. Sure, we know where he stands on the issues. He's been a very vocal Democrat. But does that mean he -- or any other entertainer, for that matter -- can or more importantly should run the biggest city in the U.S.?
I'm not so sure.
Of course he wouldn't be the first entertainer to run for public office. Consider Ronald Reagan, comedian-turned-Minnesota-Senator Al Franken, pro-wrestler and former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, the notorious Governator himself, etc. The trend has been going on for quite some time, so it's not like this would be anything new. In fact, what's scary is that it might actually be something we're so used to that we're not even questioning it anymore. Because of reality TV schmoes like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin acting like they've already got the GOP presidential nomination in the bag, who would bat an eyelash if say Paris Hilton ran for mayor of Los Angeles, and it was all to be documented on a new reality show called Politics As Usual With Paris???
I'm not saying I don't mind when an entertainer who is well-versed on the issues and has proven they're willing to get their hands dirty (think Angie and Brad) gets involved in politics. But for the most part, it seems like celebs are just riding on the success of their entertainment careers without much actual political leadership ability. They're charismatic and think they'll be the next Reagan or Clinton, so they just go for it. The worst part is that most of us eat it up, because they're recognizable. They're "high-profile." We feel like we know them already, so we'll vote for 'em.
In the case of Baldwin specifically? Judging by what I know of him ... I'd say he might be able to do a decent job running the Big Apple, if only because he is passionate about certain issues (like marriage equality). But if I were a registered NYC voter, I think I'd definitely want more solid proof that he has more to offer than a pretty, funny face.
Do you think celebs should run for public office? What about Alec Baldwin?
Image via David Shankbone/Flickr