Win or lose, Donald Trump has proven how valuable celebrity is to a political candidate, and redefined viability for a whole spectrum of famous people who might have been discounted in the past as deluded narcissists for seeking elected office.
Will Smith is the latest star to make noise about running for the Presidency, but he’s just another in a long line of celebs who have eyed elected office over the years or actually thrown their hats into the ring, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Franken and Bill Bradley.
Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Jon Stewart, Angelina Jolie, and Oprah are among the entertainers often floated (or fantasized about) as potential candidates, while corporate bigwigs like Sheryl Sandberg and Jeff Zucker are already leaning in for a future in politics.
But beyond the obvious choices, who would actually make formidable candidates and have the credibility to transition from the fields that make them famous to the halls of government?
Pooling our knowledge of politics, campaigning and the media, we identified the following 16 celebrities who have what it takes to become the next generation of star-studded Senators, Governors, and perhaps even President.
Morgan Pehme is a PIX11 News contributor and political analyst and the co-host of Effective Radio on AM970 in New York City and WVOX 1460AM in Westchester. Nomiki Konst is a contributor to The Hill and a political analyst and communications strategist who regularly appears on national television.