http://blog.moviefone.com/media/2006/01/georgeclooney.jpgWhenever I think about actors running for office, I think about Back to the Future, specifically Doc Brown's shocked response when Marty tells him that Ronald Reagan is President of the United States in 1985. "Then who's vice president?" asks Doc, "Jerry Lewis? I suppose Jane Wymann is the first lady. And Jack Benny is secretary of the Treasury." It's a little joke that is so perfect, I wouldn't be surprised if Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis revolved the entire script based on that one scenario of trying to explain to someone from the past that a B-movie actor has become the head of the nation.

Nowadays the idea of actors becoming politicians isn't as funny, because there have been so many in office. From the very famous Arnold Schwarzenegger to the lesser known Fred Thompson, they are/were mayors, governors, senators, diplomats, you name it. Apart from those who actually run and/or are elected, there are a number of celebrities with political interests that don't include holding office. Actors such as Warren Beatty, George Clooney and Sean Penn continually gain media attention for their activist campaigns and charity work, and are constantly asked about their desire to run in the future. Just yesterday, Clooney had to remind us that, we "don't want (him) in office," while appearing at an event for his Batman & Robin co-star, Schwarzenegger. Meanwhile, Sean Penn, who plays a politician in his latest film, All the King's Men, and who is controversially known for his liberal politics, recently stated that he also has no desire to run. Of course, this probably won't stop reporters from asking again in the future.

I wonder if the media obsession with politically minded celebrities will ever quit. Will it last until actors no longer hint at being interested? And did all this begin after Reagan took his seat as Governor of California? The thing is, stars of old would probably have made better officials than those of today. The difference is that reporters are now concerned with getting the most controversial scoop possible. But the scary part is the people would more than likely vote a celebrity into office than the best candidate, and for that reason, the star who knows his political limits, and stays within them, is doing the best possible service to his country.