George Clooney for President? You Know it makes sense.
Movies respond to political climates and politics returns the favour via input from cinematic veterans.
Film-making is a political statement, even when satire is smuggled through fantasy. Take Star Wars (episode 8 now titled: THE LAST JEDI, btw). Ok it’s Flash Gordon meets Tolkien via WW2 and westerns in space, but also a response to the Vietnam War. Guerilla warriors take on and defeat a technologically superior empire: ring any bells?
Ronald Reagan of course was the President of the USA from 1981-89 and had done time previously as a Hollywood actor. Bill Clinton (1992-2000) had no formal acting experience, though his Presidency was a Theatrical affair to say the least; he had a look of Richard Gere with a dash of Christopher Walken in his delivery, and was best buds with the likes of Harrison ‘Air Force One’ Ford.
Our latest man in the Oval Office, President Donald J Trump, is no stranger to Cinema, either, having cameoed in the likes of Home Alone 2.
These patterns repeat themselves and one such is a thespian President. And so, using our very own DeLorean Time machine (retrieved from Biff Tannen and thereby preventing his running for high office?), we can reveal none other than GEORGE CLOONEY is headed for the Commander in Chief’s post come 2020.
Here’s why..in no particular order..
- He was nearly President Jack Ryan onscreen
Before they opted for another reboot of a Jack Ryan reboot with Chris Pine (and the now sadly safe option Amazon series with John Krasinski), we almost had George in the Oval Office as test run for his own future. There was a mooted adaptation of Executive Orders, the excellent novel by the late Tom Clancy. It predicts many events which we do now face today and President Ryan kinda saves the day. Would have made an amazing movie. And Clooney was the best man for Ryan. Less a Black Op as a #missedopp?
- An Eye for Political Intrigue
Clooney thrives on politically themed scripts. Conspiracy plots, a philosophical conflicts, complex speeches, moral ambiguity navigated through personal certainty: he can do and has done it all on film. IDES OF MARCH is arguably his masterpiece, though contributions to the likes of MICHAEL CLAYTON and SYRIANA are equally noteworthy. Heck, even ONE FINE DAY has a political sub-plot!
- He Can Assemble one Helluva Cabinet Team
Oceans Eleven! Oceans Twelve! Oceans Thirteen! Monuments Men! Three Kings! Batman and Robin! ER! A good President is a team player. Clooney’s cabinet would be brilliant. Heck he could even bring back your beloved Obama for a cameo, constitutional limits aside (they are buddies and note Obama’s rhetoric was often very Clooney-esque: head tilts, poise, sudden smiles etc..). Grant Heslov can be VP. Amal Clooney can be Attorney General? Anthony Edwards can handle healthcare reform and ‘Clooney-Care’.
- Appeals to Everyone
George has a movie star ability to cross the class boundaries. Whilst he is at his best playing white collar professionals, each of his characters to some extent, blur the seemingly disparate lines of social rank. Dr Ross in ER is a top flight paediatrician, yet saves lives at a maverick, unorthodox cost to his own status.
See also: THE PEACEMAKER, an underrated thriller from 1997 and Dreamworks’ first major motion picture. George plays a decorated military Colonel who can schmooze in Washington or rough it in the field and diffuse a bomb in a blink: distinguished, yet casual and earthy.
Ie: the man has real class: exuding an effortless balance of interests and ideal manner for a President, who must be Commander in Chief yet speak to and stand up for the little guy..
- Like all Great Actors, this guy has been Rehearsing..Forever..and the Time is Right..
George Clooney was always an erudite and articulate activist. Raised around the hub of political news (his beloved Dad, Nick Clooney, was a celebrated news Anchor), he knew how to form and state an opinion of probity and clarity. 20 years ago, he clearly explained how and why he was plotting his career and balancing commitments to ER and films such as Out of Sight.
That same year (1997), he was among the first to address the Press after the tragic death of Princess Diana; cautioning against restricting Press freedom but making very clear that the Paparazzi were a menace in need of urgent curtailment. It was pure statesmanship. Clooney can deliver a press conference and issue clear warnings, whilst maintaining an aura of calm control.
And he puts his money where his mouth is. You know those Nespresso adverts? His fee has been invested largely in a satellite that monitors and thereby helps police the actions of a Sudanese Warlord. Like a real life international vigilante. Or Batman? Or a President in waiting? Have a coffee with George!
Above all, it’s about timing. Now in his mid fifties, the work is still there on film but Clooney’s star is in that strange mid career stalemate where it is difficult to find a niche. You can sleepwalk through it and repeat old hits or reinvent, radically. Perhaps, as Clooney himself forecast, wait for a renaissance in your 60s, playing villains/mentors/etc?
His foray into Tomorrowland was a flop, frankly and it’s difficult to know what to do with George for a few years..unless..ah yes..there might be a vacancy..in politics..and at the White House, sometime in the next four years. The role he was truly born to play: President of the United States of America. Maybe.
Think about it this way: if I said donald Trump would be the next President, even two years ago..would you have thought it possible? Precisely. President Clooney looks more credible by the day. Anyway, Time will tell..as it always will.