At this stage, we really shouldn’t be surprised when a random American celebrity pops up as a potential political candidate. From Ronald Reagan to Jesse Ventura to Arnold Schwarzenegger to Stacey Dash to Kanye West to that guy on The Apprentice who wore that red hat (whatever happened to him?), a totally unqualified figure with some name value in the entertainment industry running for political office is almost becoming the norm. Well, it’s been a whole five minutes our celebrity star left the political limelight, which means it’s about time someone stepped up to the plate.
Enter everyone’s favourite Southern charmer, Matthew McConaughey. The actor, who’s evolution from middling romantic comedy stalwart to legitimate Hollywood superstar was so dramatic it got its own tagline (remember, The McConnaisance?), has hinted that he is toying with the idea of a complete career change, jumping off of the big screen and onto the soapbox. Reports came out in March that the proud Texan was considering a run for Governor in 2022, where he would challenge incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott. While McConnaughey has not yet officially filed for candidacy or even publically committed to running, a recent poll has suggested that if he were to take the leap, he might be in with more than a good shot.
The poll conducted by The Dallas Morning News which pitted Abbott and McConnaughey in a hypothetical matchup in the 2022 Texas gubernatorial election, revealed that McConnaughey actually currently possesses a double-digit lead over the incumbent, drawing 45% of the vote compared to Abbott’s surprisingly low 33% (those are rookie numbers!). Abbott, who was elected Governor in 2014, has seen a drop in his approval rating following a significant loosening of Texas’ COVID-19 restrictions. While his approval rating is yet to drop below 50%, apparently the prospect of having a striking handsome movie star governor has Texas voters ready to kick him to the curb in a years’ time.
So, what would a McConnaughey political campaign look like. Well, like almost all celebrities who flirt with running for office, the specifics of his stances on the issues are largely unknown. All we really have to go off of is that he has on a few instances publicly criticized both the Democratic and Republican parties, and in an interview last year he referred to himself as an “aggressive centrist”. If we’re being honest, often times in politics ‘personality’ ends up being far more important than ‘policy’ and never is that more evident than when a megastar like McConnaghey is involved. A catchy slogan (“vote for McConnaughey, you‘d be a lot cooler if you did!”), some endorsements from some popular Hollywood buddies, a few cheesy speeches in that patented Southern drawl and he’ll be moving into the Governor’s mansion in no time. And hey, why not? I mean, we’ve followed McConnaghey for a while and we think he would do alright…. alright, alright.