Will Kim Kardashian Run for President?

Arnie Alpert on April 01, 2015

Adam Baum, a journalist who often turns up stories others miss, says political consultants believe reality show stars are well suited to be president.  That's why we're starting our watch for the Kim Kardashian campaign on April 1. 

Reality TV is President Practice

Ted Cruz has formally declared he’s running.  The Donald has an exploratory committee.  Rand Paul is running for something.  Lindsey Graham says he’ll do it if he can raise enough money.  Jeb Bush has a PAC, a Super PAC, and will soon have plenty of money.  The campaign to draft Ben Carson has a 1600 square foot office in downtown Manchester.  Then there’s Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Bobbie Jindal, George Pataki, John Kasich, and more. 

Bernie Sanders says “maybe.”  Martin O’Malley is racking up lots of frequent flier miles for trips to Iowa and New Hampshire.  Jim has a Webb site.  Robert Reich has scheduled speaking gigs in New Hampshire and Iowa.  And it looks like we won’t have to wait for Hillary for much longer. 

With the first actual votes still months away, the list of candidates is long.

But it could get longer, according to enterprising journalist Adam Baum, just off the plane from Hollywood.

“We are going to see more celebrity candidates,” he said with apparent confidence.  “Trump is just the beginning.”

“Is that really what the American people want?” I asked.  “The voters I know want a president who will stand up for ordinary people against the interests the billionaire class and the big corporations.”

“The American people are obsessed with celebrity,” said Baum, who shows up unannounced every once in a while, always with stories that other reporters have missed. 

“Ronald Reagan started out as an actor, after all,” he reminded me.

“But Ronald Reagan also had cabinet members who thought we could win a nuclear war and enacted policies that escalated the decline of the American middle class,” I said.  “Is he the right role model?”

“’Role model’ is the right phrase, “Baum responded.  “President is a role, and the American people get to vote for the best person to fill it, just like ‘American Idol.’”

“I can’t believe this,” I said.  “We’ve got an out-of-touch Congress voting to jack up the military budget, privatize Medicare, and cut funds for food stamps, housing assistance, and special education.   Don’t we need to elect a President who has a track record of support for what the people really need?”

“You’re the one who’s out of touch,” Baum chided and went on.  “What if Jon Stewart threw his hat in the ring?  Or Brian Williams?  They’re both out of work.”

I figured I might as well play along.  “Think Martin Sheen would run?  He played a president on ‘West Wing.’  The character was even from New Hampshire.  And he could inspire progressives and peace activists.”

“Now you’re getting it,” my friend told me. “Look, the political consultants I’ve been talking to say the most important skill a modern politician can have is the ability to deal with the 24-hour news cycle.”

“I thought it was the ability to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for corporate PACs,” I offered.

“Now who’s the cynic?  Being president is more like starring in a reality TV show than any other job category.”

I think he may be right.  That’s why I’m waiting for the Kardashians.   There’s still plenty office space in Concord.

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Arnie Alpert

Arnie Alpert

Arnie Alpert is co-director of the American Friends Service Committee’s New Hampshire Program, which he has led since 1981.  In that time he has been involved in movements for economic justice and affordable housing, civil and worker rights, peace and disarmament, abolition of the death penalty, and an end to racism and homophobia.