Media titan Oprah Winfrey made waves this week when she said she was reconsidering whether to run for president given Donald Trump’s success, but fame hasn’t always translated to political success, and there are plenty of examples of celebrities who took a shot at wooing voters and fell short at the polls.
…She’s not the only one pondering the possibilities. The New Republic published an article in January titled, “Democrats Should Run a Celebrity for President, Too.” And Michael Moore was quoted as telling CNN, “Democrats would be better off if they ran Oprah or Tom Hanks … Why don’t we run beloved people?”
…So far, however, most of the celebrities who have converted their fame into political power favors Republicans and includes people like Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood and Sonny Bono. Jesse Ventura’s winning run for governor was as a member of the last vestiges of Ross Perot’s Reform Party.
On the left, Sen. Al Franken stands out as the left’s top success, but only from an election so close it forced an automatic recount.
…But many celebrities have watched their dreams die as they sought political office:
…Shirley Temple Black, the famed child actress, lost a congressional election in a Republican district.
Steve Largent, also an NFL Hall-of-Famer, was a football legend in Oklahoma and won four easy elections to Congress, but in 2004, he lost his gubernatorial bid by just 7,000 votes.