This excerpt in Caity Weaver’s GQ profile of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson makes me believe that within a few years, he’ll at least run for office, if not president:
Last June, when The Washington Post published an op-ed suggesting he could be a viable candidate, Johnson posted a screen grab and gave the idea a boost. On Instagram, he called the Post piece “interesting” and “fun to read,” adding that “the most important thing right now is strong honest leadership from our current and future leaders of this country.”
Since then, Johnson tells me, he’s given the question more thought. “A year ago,” he says, “it started coming up more and more. There was a real sense of earnestness, which made me go home and think, ‘Let me really rethink my answer and make sure I am giving an answer that is truthful and also respectful.’ I didn’t want to be flippant—‘We’ll have three days off for a weekend! No taxes!’”
So, after all that consideration, Johnson doesn’t hesitate when I ask him whether he honestly might one day give up his life as the highest-paid movie star on earth—which is unquestionably easier, more fun, and more lucrative than being president of the United States—in order to run for office. “I think that it’s a real possibility,” he says solemnly.
Johnson had a lot of thoughtful answers to the line of politics-related questions posed by Weaver that won’t fit in here, although this sentence sounds great: “When there’s a disagreement, and you have a large group of people that you’re in a disagreement with—for example, the media—I feel like it informs me that I could be better.” The obvious point is: Politics have changed. The bar has been lowered. Being the recipient of a Stone Cold Stunner is no longer a death knell to a political campaign. Actors running for office isn’t new, and the landscape feels more amenable than ever before to candidates running on sheer charisma.
The Rock loves the troops and leans right. He appeared at the 2000 Republican National Convention to introduce (yikes) former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. He is absurdly likable and has an excellent memory, as Weaver explained in her feature. “For Johnson, there are no strangers; there are simply best friends, and best friends he hasn’t met yet.” Actual politicians would kill for that talent—Bill Clinton had it in spades. Also, who else will the GOP have to run in 2024 aside from an absolutely hollow Paul Ryan and a printout of Mike Huckabee’s tweets?
The Democrats would have to counter, and on the same level. No more going high when the other side goes low. That went nowhere. How about this guy?
Last summer, pro wrestler John Cena starred in a three-minute “Love Has No Labels” PSA by the Ad Council, in which he talked about patriotism, bias, and discrimination. Surely he didn’t write it—presidents have speechwriters anyway—but he delivered it so well. Watch the full video as well as this Today Show clip from 2015 where he criticizes Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, look back at the nation’s current administration, and it’s inarguable that this guy wouldn’t get votes. Cena is eloquent, affable, strong, and a valuable source of memes, giving him an advantage with younger voters.
I am certainly not the first to float this idea. In March of 2016, Drew wrote about how a Cena campaign could succeed, and a few others have considered the possibility of him running against The Rock:
Assuming we give enough time for Johnson and Cena to position themselves and generate support, and assuming we’re not fighting each other with bone knives for Twinkie remnants in a barren land seven years from now, this is the best-case scenario. The potential candidates have a history. Nikki Bella could be Cena’s running mate; Johnson’s could be his latest movie co-star. One of the debates could be held during Hell in a Cell. The voter turnout would be outstanding.
I don’t endorse The Rock or John Cena for president, because who the hell knows what they believe in, and the President should be someone who actually has policies and is capable of work toward improving the country. I’m just saying that with that way the United States government has deteriorated, it’s inevitable. Politics is like sports. Politics is like wrestling. Why not take the logical next step?