To answer the first question that pops up in the minds of those reading the headline, I’ve believed since just after Donald Trump won the election that actor George Clooney would be pressed to enter the presidential race, particularly if President Trump has a successful first term. I’ll go into detail about how he’s been preparing himself for such a run shortly, but first let’s look at California itself.
Despite my attempt at predicting the future, it’s a long shot. Assuming Clooney doesn’t run, the more likely and mainstream choice of Senator Kamala Harris is poised to be the nominee. She’ll win California if she’s even a blip on the radar. Her opponents would have to eliminate her from contention altogether for her to lose this state where she is extremely popular.
Unfortunately for other hopefuls, the only way to eliminate her from contention will likely be through scandal because if California’s current plan passes, she’ll only have to go through Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. The state is pushing to move their primary to early March, making it the kingmaker it has always wanted to be.
As Politico points out, her opponents would be hard-pressed to mount the fundraising efforts necessary to blitz the most populous state in the nation with enough juice to derail her. That’s not going to happen unless Mark Cuban or some other self-funded billionaire enters the race. Harris will be the Democratic nominee and the DNC will wholeheartedly embrace her as the Trump-slayer.
Back to Clooney. It’s no secret that he’s had political aspirations based his conspicuous half-hearted attempts to deflect the question. In fact, he doesn’t get asked anymore in formal interviews which is a sure sign that his PR team makes the question taboo. He’s the ideal choice for a party that needs star power to trump Trump. Likable, attractive, well-spoken, and inspiring, Clooney has the aura that Ronald Reagan invoked in his early days in politics.
He served as a host multiple times for Democratic donors, giving his time and home over to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. During these gatherings, he gave “subtle but noteworthy” indications that he may have an interest in the future, according to a source who has attended multiple fundraising events with Clooney present.
He has the perfect Democratic candidate’s spouse, the perfect campaigner’s friends, and enough clout in Hollywood to bring the full power of the entertainment world to bear on his behalf. Throw in an experienced political VP (Elizabeth Warren?) and you have the makings for an interesting 2020 Battle of the Stars.
For her part, Harris is extremely formidable on paper. While she hasn’t been impressive as a Senator (she’s actually been quite laughable), her moves have made it clear she’s very interested. She’s the female version of candidate Barack Obama – 1st term Senator with a history in law, minority (daughter of a Tamil Indian mother and an African American father of Jamaican descent), and charming. The difference will become more apparent when she’s actually campaigning, especially during debates. One thing I’ve noticed that she can’t do as well as Obama is rally the crowd. She’s not nearly as flashy as Obama… or Trump. The closest comparison to her lack of passion would be the last Democratic nominee.
California is making its move to be the winner-take-all state in the next presidential election. If it happens, this may be the shortest primary season in modern history.