Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono, Jesse Ventura, Gopher from The Love Boat…there's a long history of Hollywood stars jumping into politics.
With Alec Baldwin announcing today that he will not be throwing his hat in the ring as a candidate for New York City's 2013 mayoral race (opting for now to get a master's in politics and government), and Kelsey Grammer saying maybe someday, it's no surprise they're not the only celebrities eyeing higher office.
E! News rounds up five other Tinseltown types who are considering making like Mr. Smith and going to Washington:
1. Donald Trump There's nothing The Donald can't do in the boardroom. But the campaign trail is a different beast altogether. After flirting with the idea of shaking up the Republican presidential primary as a Tea Party favorite (largely based on false insinuations that President Obama is a Muslim), the wealthy businessman and reality star got an embarrassing comeuppance at the White House Correspondents Dinner, courtesy of Bam himself (who the next day got Bin Laden, natch). But while Trump has since opted out, he's hinted he might run as an independent. But make no mistake, he's still managing to suck up airtime, most recently telling CNN what he'd do if he were Treasury Secretary. Watch out, China! You're fired!
2. Matt Damon: Matt Damon for president? Well sort of. At least according to Michael Moore. The firebrand filmmaker talked up the Bourne Identity star as a potential third-party candidate on Sunday, given Damon's disappointment with the current state of politics and outspoken views on various issues (like his firm defense of teachers).While he recently played a U.S. Senate candidate in The Adjustment Bureau and narrated the Oscar-winning documentary, Inside Job, about the corruption that spawned 2008's financial crisis, Damon has remained mum on a possible political future. A Facebook group has already formed, hoping to draft him for the 2012 presidential race. We can see the campaign slogan now: "How 'bout them apples? Vote for Matt!" Then again, he may have some competition: Good buddy Ben Affleck told Larry King during the 2004 presidential contest that he was open to running. Who knows? Maybe he could tap him for a Damon-Affleck ticket. Just don't ask George Clooney.
3. Frankie Muniz: The erstwhile Malcom in the Middle expressed an interest in public service, tweeting back in June, "I'm going to be a politician. I'm running for public office. I will be announcing soon. #Muniz2016." No word what type of office he's interested in. At 25, the tube actor and sometime racecar driver is currently eligible for the House of Representatives and state office, but if he's thinking of 2016, he can try for the U.S. Senate whose minimum age requirement is 30. The biggest hurdle he's likely to face though are questions about his personal life after snagging a disorderly conduct citation resulting from a Valentine's Day row with his galpal who claimed he was suicidal, allegations he has subsequently denied.
4. Bristol Palin: Sarah Palin's spawn has taken to public life quite nicely since her third place finish on Dancing With the Stars and news she's about to star in her own reality series. But will she follow in Mama Grizzly's famous footsteps? Well, if her move to McCain country Arizona is any indication, she's got her (gun)sights set on a potential candidacy, though a ways down the road. As Bristol herself told E! News exclusively back in February, she will "probably" run for office herself one day: "If I saw something that needed to be changed, then I would step up to the plate and do something about it." The unwed teenage mom, who as irony has it is now a spokeswoman for abstinence for the Candie's Foundation, may have a good political rival in her old high school sweetheart however, as ex-fiance Levi Johnston has announced plans to run for the elder Palin's old job as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.
5. Stephen Colbert: A tip of the hat to the Comedy Central faux pundit for dipping his pinky into the shark-infested political waters of South Carolina's presidential primary in 2007 (until he was unceremoniously booted off the ballot). But we'll give Mr. Colbert a wag of the finger for forming his own SuperPac in hopes influencing the 2012 presidential election with unlimited political donations. We'd rather see him run again. Come on, Stephen? What say you?!