Saturday, May 9, 2009

Kutcher Following Other Actors Running For Congress?

The Kuchter '10 campaign is alive and kicking. I know some of you out there are skeptical about Ashton Kutcher taking on Congressman Steve King (R-IA). King after all is a seasoned politician. He served in the Iowa Senate for six years before being elected to Congress in 2002. However, there is a history of actors becoming successful politicians.

Let take a look at some of the of the actors that led the way for Ashton to make his run for Congress.
  • Ronald Regan - The hero of the Republican party. He stared in over 50 films, became the Governor of California and then went onto become the 40th President of the United States.
  • Clint Eastwood - Star of Dirty Hary and Academy Award Winning Director became the Mayor of Carmel, CA. He was no match for his opponent and didn't have to retire from movies to do the job. He only served one term which would work for me and get Rep. King out of office.
  • Fred Gandy - Played Gopher on the show Love Boat, actually showed Iowa how this is done. After opponents tried to say he was a "fancy educated fool actor" he won anyway. Sounds like something King's people would try on Kutcher who played Michael Kelso on That 70's Show. Kelso was not exactly the smart character on the show.
  • Sonny Bono - Partnered with Cher he stared in The Sony and Cher Show. He became Mayor of Palm Springs and then went on to Congress. Because of his celebrity status, Bono was able to reach across party lines and make many friends on the other side of the aisle.
  • Jesse Ventura - Known for his professional wrestling career, Ventura was able to transition into acting with roles in movies like Predator. He was elected to Mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN by beating the 18 year incumbent. He then went on to surprise everyone by winning the election for Governor of MN by beating out the two mainstream party candidates (one being Norm Coleman).
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger - Know as The Terminator Arnold has starred in numerous blockbuster films. He was elected Governor of California in the 2003 in a recall election. He won after only running for 2 months which shows his use of his celebrity to get the word out.
  • Al Franken - Another example of someone that played a "funny guy" as a star of Saturday Night Live and was able to run a successful campaign for the Senate. He is currently waiting on the final ruling so he can be sworn in as the latest actor to become a representative of the people. This was the most expensive race in Senate history and shows the power of celebrity to fund raise. Another interesting point is that Franken had no previous political experience.
There are many others that could be discussed here like Shirley Temple Black and Jerry Springer that have done the same thing.

Some got involved because something happened to them personally that they wanted to overcome, others got involved because they wanted to make a difference in the bigger picture and replace the incumbent. The common thread is that by being a celebrity the amount of free press and attention that candidate draws is huge. Even if they are not succesfull their ability to expose what the incumbent is doing is amazing. And frankly, if people really knew what Rep. King was saying in Congress on a daily basis they would be shocked and appalled.

With Ashton's amazing ability to control the web and social media and the fact that everyone wants him on their show it would be easy for Kutcher to control the message. Also, the fund raising possibilities are endless. I could not be more excited for Kutcher vs. King 2010. It will be a great day in Iowa politics when King loses his seat.

Lezzymom Lezzymom has two kids and a wonderful partner. Her political commentary has appeared on C-Span and Visit her Lezzymom blog for more of her insights.

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