While many find it absurd, no one can deny that Trump has managed to change the face of American politics. He took the leap from being a complete political outsider, living life as a business mogul and reality television personality, and eventually ended up President of the United States. This is the biggest sign that the “celebritization” of American Politics is imminent. Now more than ever, celebrities with nationwide recognition and appeal stand a chance at becoming future leaders of the country despite never holding a government office.
Here are five celebrity and business candidates that you could end up seeing on your 2020 election ballot:
Net Worth: $3.1 Billion
Claim to Fame: Talk Show Host and Media Mogul
In the past, Oprah has adamantly rejected the idea of running for president. However, in a recent conversation with billionaire David Rubenstein, she skirted around the question but avoided giving a downright no, showing signs that she might be opening up to the idea.
Even though it’s up in the air as to whether she will officially run or not, if she did, she would immediately be one of the fiercest candidates (and a likely crowd favorite) in the Presidential race. She has managed to garner widespread American appeal during her longstanding spot on TV with The Oprah Winfrey Show and later development of the Oprah Winfrey Network. With an entire generation of Americans supporting her, Oprah could easily create an immense campaign with her marketing ability and vast ties to political figures.
Dwayne Johnson (aka “The Rock”)
Net Worth: $185 Million
Claim to Fame: Hollywood’s Go-To Action Hero
From successful careers in wrestling, football, and Hollywood, it almost seems like there’s nothing The Rock can’t do. He’s made many jokes about running for president throughout his time in the public spotlight, but with Trump paving the way for celebrities to enter the White House, the possibility of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson campaign is as likely as ever.
Many democrats have already expressed their willingness to vote for him, but should he run, it would likely come down to his ability to actually become knowledgeable about politics. If he managed to prove himself on the debate stage, there is a fair chance that Johnson could shape up to be a formidable contender.
Net Worth: $3.3 Billion
Claim to Fame: Founder and Executive Chairman, Starbucks
As of late, Schultz has taken a bit of step back from his role as Executive Chairman, which many are interpreting as a move to become more involved in the nation’s politics. He has cited a desire to focus on, “‘shared values’ and a call to build ‘a great and enduring America.’” If that isn’t enough of a tell, he has reportedly been in contact with Mike Bloomberg asking for advice on how to make the transition from business to politics.
Even if the likelihood of his running is high, it’s not so certain how he would fare. Despite seeing Starbucks on nearly every street corner in America, most people wouldn’t be able to pick Schultz out of a lineup. That being said, he is a man who is known for working hard, and the success of the company he created can’t be denied; it’s likely his compelling story would win him a decent amount of votes.
Net Worth: $63 Billion
Claim to Fame: Co-Founder and CEO, Facebook
One of Zuckerberg’s goals for 2017 has involved taking a nationwide road trip and meeting voters from each state. On one hand it seems harmless, but on the other, what Zuckerberg has been doing seems eerily reminiscent of a political campaign. There is even a clause in his contract with Facebook that he will once again be allowed to possess control of the company if he ever serves in government.
While there haven’t been any big statements from Zuckerberg himself on the issue, one thing is for certain: if he ran, he would make for strong competition. From his immense wealth to the infinitely reaching presence of Facebook, a decision to run would definitely stir up the 2020 election.
Net Worth: $3.4 Billion
Claim to Fame: Entrepreneur, Investor and Owner, Dallas Mavericks
The potential candidate with the biggest resemblance to Trump is most certainly Mark Cuban. Cuban been accruing his wealth since early on in his life, and has recently become one of America’s favorite investors through the hit TV show, Shark Tank.
Cuban has already approached his family with the proposal of running. In fact, Washington already has its on eye on him, with Steve Bannon placing his name alongside other potential 2020 opponents such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. Overall, it is almost certain that we will see Cuban in the next presidential race, with just as good of a shot as anybody else.