Wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson showed up on the roster as a potential candidate for the Presidency in the upcoming 2020 U.S. election this week. Sources claim that West Virginia resident and political consultant, Kenton Tilford, filed the “Run the Rock 2020” campaign with the FEC on his behalf.
History of Political Interest
Though the idea of the Johnson running for president isn’t new (he first mentioned his interest in a GQ article in May), Johnson himself still has yet to confirm whether the move was his own idea. Instead, it was Tilford who leaked the information, citing Johnson’s presidential SNL skit in May as the main motivating factor behind his decision to draft the actor with the FEC.
As strange a move as it might seem, Johnson’s interest in politics isn’t unheard of. The actor has also spoken out about his interest in politics on his Instagram in recent years.
“Interesting piece from The Washington Post on if I ran for POTUS I could actually win. Writer Alyssa Rosenberg did some pretty good research into my background (slave descendants fighting for their freedom, Revolutionary War etc). Much more to uncover but well done. More and more pieces like this are popping up due to the Presidential election and they’re cool/fun to read… I care DEEPLY about our country… and the idea of one day becoming President to create real positive impact and global change is very alluring.”
When pressed about the connection between the actor and political consultant, Tilford cautioned interviewers that the move was meant to motivate Johnson into moving forward with a campaign.
“There hasn’t been any communication between myself and Mr. Johnson’s team. The hope is that he appreciates the strong showing of grassroots support from across the country and decides to take the plunge in 2020. I see it here in West Virginia, and I think that really says something about his broad, unifying appeal.”
Johnson’s Political Stance
If Johnson does move forward with pursuing a role in politics, he would most likely run as an Independent. Neither an outspoken Republican nor a Democrat, the celebrity wrestler and SNL actor has attended rallies and conferences for both sides, and doesn’t really fall left or right of the spectrum.
One contentious platform issue the celebrity would change is Trump’s Immigration ban; he’s spoken out against it in the past.
As for the public’s reaction to Johnson, responses are mixed. Some believe “The Rock” would make a better president than Trump, taking a more measured approach to the current tumultuous political climate. Others believe Johnson’s drafting is yet another example of the power celebrities currently hold in the United States, and that Johnson should never be anywhere near a leadership role because he simply doesn’t have the experience.
Johnson’s past wrestling mate Foley supported the move, pointing out his unbiased approach to politics as a benefit to America.
“He is a guy who cuts across party lines. I think people are colorblind when it comes to The Rock. They don’t see color, they just see this amazing individual, and I think he can bring people together.”
Trump and Johnson wouldn’t be the first celebrities with campaigns that directly benefitted from their celebrity status; Reagan also quoted his acting career as playing a role in his ascension to the presidency.