Name Recognition

Arnold Schwarzenegger will run for governor of California.

Jerry Springer thought of a return to politics (he was already the mayor of Cincinnati in the 1970s). He has currently decided against it.

Ronald Reagan was not only the governor of California, he was the 40th president of the United States. Sonny Bono became a US Congressman. Fred Grandy (that’s Gopher from the Love Boat, folks) was a Representative for the State of Iowa. Heck, even Ben Jones (that’s Cooter from the Dukes of Hazzard) served two terms in Congress for the state of Georgia. Crazy Cooter – a Congressman!

Does this say something about our society? I don’t have anything against these people. Really, I don’t. But when so many names, famous from other places, move so easily into the politics of our country, is something amiss? Where else would something like this happen?

Thomas Jefferson may have played for the Monticello Mudhens, but if he did, I sure haven’t heard about it. Abraham Lincoln might have starred in a remake of A Midsummer’s Night Dream at Ford’s Theater, but it sure didn’t make the papers.

Eddie Murphy parodied the American political process well in his movie The Distinguished Gentleman. Even Crazy Cooter realizes what’s going on: “When people go down and look at the ballot, if they know one name and they don’t know another, they’ll vote for the one they know.” (from that earlier USAToday link).

I wonder if anyone knew which George Bush we were electing in 2000. Maybe it’s time we paid attention to something besides the name.

Update: This just in. Gary Coleman (yes, that Gary Coleman) is now apparently on the ballot. Does it get any weirder than this? You couldn’t make up a stranger story!