Angelina Jolie in Japan in June.(Photo: Jun Sato/WireImage)CONNECT>TWEET>LINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE
Think again, Angelina!
She may be one of the world's most famous movie stars, acclaimed as a UN ambassador and humanitarian, , admired as a mom of six, whip-smart and drop-dead gorgeous to boot, but she might want to think again if she's seriously considering going into politics.
Given American history and the record of wins and losses, including Tuesday's Republican-dominated midterm elections, the likelihood is ... she won't win. And she might not like it even if she did.
Which may be why some of her fellow movie stars "mentioned," as they say in politics, as possible candidates for public office — Ben Affleck, George Clooney, Ashley Judd, Alec Baldwin, to name a few — haven't made a move or outright rejected the idea.
Celebrities are "good cheerleaders but I don't think they'd be good elected officials," says Howard Bragman, veteran Hollywood observer and vice chairman of Reputation.com. "It requires discipline, a huge pay cut and an awesome level of scrutiny — it's everything they would resent."FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInThe evolution of Brangelina> Fullscreen
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For good reason. Politics is hard, tedious and money-grubbing, says Darrell West, vice president of government studies at Washington's Brookings Institute think-tank and author of Celebrity Politics.
The things one has to do to be successful in politics are not the skills most entertainers possess, he says, even though they have plenty of what politicians crave: name recognition and media attention.
"They feel they have the skills but the record shows that's not true," West says. "They overestimate their star appeal. You can be well-known and well-liked in an entertainment sense and be a complete failure as a candidate. It takes different skills — raising money, meeting donors and answering tough questions."
Also, and this is crucial, the record shows that Republican celebs can win (think Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono and Clint Eastwood) while liberal Hollywood Democrats usually lose (Al Franken being the main exception).
"(Running as a Republican) makes it easier for them because they're not seen as ultra-liberal, they have the ability to raise money, and their political agenda fits better with the nature of our times," says West.
West is not bullish on any celeb's chances, including Jolie's. "There's no one on the horizon who has the credibility to do this," he says. "All of them have baggage or are just not well positioned."
Just ask American Idol's Clay Aiken, who turned out not to be idolized by voters in a North Carolina congressional district on Tuesday. "We came up short in another vote," Aiken, a Democrat, said alluding to his second-place showing in Season 2 of Idol 11 years ago.
But presidential historian Douglas Brinkley is more upbeat about Jolie's chances, despite the counter-culture rep of Hollywood liberals dating from the 1960s.
"They partook of drugs, denounced the U.S. Armed Forces, and lived wild lifestyles," he says. "But I think things have changed. I think Angelina Jolie — who's smart as a tack — could someday be a U.S. senator of California."
Certainly, some on Twitter were excited about her chances:
The list of stars-turned-pols is not that long but it's dominated by Republicans: Besides Reagan, Bono and Eastwood, there's Fred Grandy (The Love Boat), Ben Jones (Dukes of Hazzard), Fred Thompson (Law & Order), and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
On the Dem side, there's Franken. Jesse Ventura, the ex-pro wrestler who became governor of Minnesota, ran as a Reform Party candidate.
The list of stars said to have recently considered running for office includes Kal Penn, Sean Astin, Fran Drescher, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Steven Seagal. So far, not a one has been seen on the campaign hustings or on C-SPAN.
Last year, Judd thought she might like to be a U.S. senator from Kentucky, then thought better about it.
That may be what Jolie decides, too. "I am conscious of what I do for a living, and that (could) make it less possible," she told Vanity Fair.
Part of the appeal of celebrities is their mystique, which would disappear once they hit the hustings, says Bragman.
"As soon as they have to start glad-handing, they're going to get the same nastiness and vitriol every candidate gets," he says. "It's easy to put out a tweet but (politics) requires talking in-depth and with intelligence and understanding."
As for begging donors for money? "Celebrities don't ask people for things, they want people to ask them for things," Bragman says.
So why would any celebrity even think of getting into politics? Don't laugh, but maybe some are motivated by actual (as opposed to Hollywood) idealism, says Peter Levine, an expert on citizenship and public affairs at Tisch College at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
"And that's a good thing to aspire to — we do need idealistic people to go to Washington and make it better," Levine says.
On the other hand, maybe celebs are influenced by the blurring of lines these days between politicos and celebs.
"Some elected officials are very celebrity-ish, they're not known for hard, detail work but for being in the media all the time," Levine says. "So the blurring of the meaning of celebrity might make it easier for celebrities to think of themselves in politics."FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInCelebs-turned-politicos, and those thinking about it> Fullscreen
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Source : https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2014/11/06/angelina-jolie-a-politician-dont-hold-your-breath/18531627/