Musician Wyclef Jean has already filled out the necessary paperwork for a presidential run in his native homeland of Haiti, but remains undecided as to whether or not he will actually run for the office of Haitian President. Jean has told CNN, “I can’t sing forever.”
Jean has been a long time activist for the children and people of Haiti, providing humanitarian aid for years on his own and through his charity, Yele Haiti Foundation. He has until November to decide if he really wants to be the leader of the nation he already helps so much.
Jean already has an advantage to running for President of Haiti with his financial success because the people of that country will see him as being genuine and not running for personal gain. Money and fame don’t necessarily guarantee victory, though, as seen with former astronaut John Glenn’s failed presidential bid, and former basketball star Bill Bradley’s inability to beat out Al Gore for the Democratic nomination.
Does being a celebrity make someone qualified for being an elected official, though? Some will argue that a fresh perspective outside the realm of politics is enough to gain the confidence of voters. Voters somehow think that just because someone is famous they can be successful in running a country or a state because they haven’t been caught up in all of the agendas of fellow politicians. Someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger had a long interest in politics before he ever ran for governor of California, participating in the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He was long active in politics before ever setting foot in the race for a political office. Even though he is best known as the Terminator, he had a strong interest and desire to enter politics as a full-time career.
Sonny Bono, also an entertainer, was actually a very successful businessman who fell into politics in 1988 when he was sick of how things were being run in his town of Palm Springs. He ran for mayor of the city and won, and later set his goals higher. He managed to maintain a very successful career as a senator until his death in a tragic ski accident in 1998.
Wyclef Jean has not shown any prior political aspirations until now. Yes, he has been very active in his humanitarian efforts, but those don’t qualify as steps toward running for political office. He has already been accused of mismanaging the money of his foundation. While he may not be corrupt, as the current president of Haiti has been accused of being, it appears that he has some poor skills when it comes to managing money. Will this be good for an already impoverished country?
The people of Haiti appreciate what Jean has done for them, and love his music. He definitely stands a chance to make a good run, but does he really want to be president badly enough? His political filing almost seems as though he is bored and looking for something else to do. After all, he hasn’t lived in Haiti since he was 9 years old.