5 California Celebrities Most Likely to Get Into Politics


California politics is a mess, but why can't it be an entertaining mess?

The state has a history of making politics entertaining by getting our entertainers -- Ronald Reagan, George Murphy, Arnold Schwarzenegger -- into our politics.

Today's elected leaders are a bit dry.

But if times are going to be tough, why can't we slide down the hill with celebrities?

In that spirit, here's a midsummer's dream of the top 5 most likely celebrity candidates for office in California.

5. Dennis Miller. Political consultants who know him have talked him up. And there's precedent for the Saturday Night Live comedian turned politician, now that Al Franken is in the U.S. Senate.

And Miller would have a shot in a general election since he's the kind of libertarian Republican this state sometimes elects.

The question is whether he could survive a primary -- and whether voters would be able to understand his many, many cultural, literary and sports references.

Likely office: Congressman.

4. George Clooney. He keeps raising his political profile, including hosting a fundraiser for President Obama.

And he comes from political family. Of course, he seems smart, is still busy making great movies, and has said that he doesn't intend to run for office.

But if you want to do something about the Sudan, it may be easier to do that from inside the government.

Likely office: U.S. Senator.

3. Kelsey Grammer. The actor has made noises about running for something.

He's reportedly still a Republican, though he might give himself primary troubles with his recent endorsement of marriage equality.

And he's got personal baggage. But to the good side, is there any state more in need of a good shrink, even a fictional one (Dr. Frasier Crane), than California?

Likely office: U.S. Senator.

2. The Rock. The wrestler-turned-actor has been following the Schwarzenegger path into politics, moving from action roles into kid-friendly comedy, and cutting a higher philanthropic profile.

His politics are similarly hard to peg. But someone named the Rock is less likely to be accused of changing positions on issues.

Likely office: Governor

1. MC Hammer. The rapper has already been touted by former Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown as a possible mayor of Oakland.

And it makes sense. The current occupant of the office, Jean Quan, is a waffler who seems weak-kneed. The reaction against her could easily be: we need the Hammer.

Likely office: mayor.

Lead Prop Zero blogger Joe Mathews is California editor at Zocalo Public Square, a fellow at Arizona State University’s Center for Social Cohesion, and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (University of California, 2010).

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