Monty Brinton/ CBS
Monty Brinton/ CBS
Backdoor alliances, secret plotting and conniving, manipulating those around you and attempting to win back their vote in the end? Come to think of it, maybe competing on Survivor's not such a bad training ground for a career in politics, after all.
That might be what the reality show's former contestant and million-dollar fan favorite (how's that for an of-the-people platform?) Rupert Boneham is hoping, as he announced today that he was considering a run for governor of the state of Indiana.
Ready for this one, Hoosiers?
Though no official announcement has yet been made, the grizzly, tie-dye-loving contestant, who first competed on Survivor: Pearl Island back in 2003 before going on to appear on several all-star incarnations since, has formed an exploratory committee to look into the possibility of seeking the Libertarian Party's nomination for the seat, which will be an open race next year, thanks to term limits preventing the sitting governor from running again.
The 47-year-old won't make his decision on running for several weeks, after discussing the decision with family and friends, but already seems to be in campaign mode, setting up the website www.RupertForGovernor.com and posting an open letter to the residents of his home state.
"I have spent my entire adult life serving my community and I see an opportunity to make a difference for Indiana," he wrote. "While surveying the current choices for our next Governor, I do not see anyone that has an understanding of what daily life is like for many Hoosiers nor anyone who appears to understand the harm that misguided government policies are doing to our communities.
"It is obvious that career politicians are not the answer because they are often the problem. I will be evaluating whether or not hardworking Hoosiers are ready for a new voice with new ideas."
And you can bet that evaluation is going both ways.
No doubt sensing that, Boneham took time out to inform potential voters of his background, which, they will be pleased to know, doesn't only include reality TV.
"While I may be best known for my time spent on the television show Survivor, I feel my greatest achievement has been working with troubled youth through my non-profit charity, Rupert's Kids. With Rupert's Kids we have successfully taken youth with troubled pasts and given them a sense of purpose and self worth while opening a world of opportunity to them. By helping them become confident and productive members of society they learn the value of education and a strong work ethic.
"I have operated my charity for over 20 years without government handouts. Over time, it has become more difficult to help people because of government red tape and roadblocks. This has prompted my decision to explore bringing back the principles of hard work and self-reliance to Hoosier government."
In any case, he's not the first celebrity to toy with the idea of running for office. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura famously succeeded in their bids, and even former Real Worlder Sean Duffy is currently a freshman Republican congressman from Wisconsin. Apprentice contestant Raj Bhakta ran and lost for a U.S. House of Representatives seat back in 2006, and more recently, Kelsey Grammer and Alec Baldwin have publicly pondered future runs for the office of New York City mayor.
In other words, stranger things have happened. Brace yourselves, Indiana.