Donald Trump. Justin Trudeau. Pierre Karl Peladeau. Kevin O’Leary. Four men with not a single thing in common, except an interest in politics and the factor that made that interest practical for them: their media celebrity.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate-in-waiting Trump had already made himself a household name before he created Celebrity Apprentice, and became even more famous afterwards. Canada’s 23rd prime minister has been making the news since birth, due to the happy accident of being the son of Canada’s 15th prime minister. PQ Leader Pierre Karl Peladeau owned Quebec’s biggest media conglomerate and, until recently, was married to one of its top stars. And potential Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary’s TV career has taken him from ROB TV to CBC to ABC, where he is currently starring in Shark Tank.
Name recognition has always been important in politics, but in previous generations that recognition didn’t necessarily come from media celebrity. In fact, being an ‘entertainer’ could be a disadvantage: When Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1980, many critics sniffed that he was “just an actor”. Two decades later, nobody blinked when Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for governor of California.
Read the full article on ipolitics here: Kevin O’Leary doesn’t need to know what he’s talking about. He’s famous.