- HBO host Bill Maher on Friday blasted celebrities who seek to run for political office.
- Maher said that Trump’s four years in office should be a “cautionary tale” for celebrities.
- Maher said that celebrities are misguided in thinking that they can overcome partisanship.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
HBO host Bill Maher on Friday blasted celebrities who seek to run for political office, calling out actors and reality stars including Caitlyn Jenner, Matthew McConaughey, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for having “malignant narcissism.”
On “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Maher was deeply critical of high-profile individuals assuming they have the qualifications to manage a state or the entire country.
“Someone must explain why celebrities running for office is a recurring nightmare we cannot seem to shake,” he said. “The Rock, Caitlyn Jenner, Matthew McConaughey, Randy Quaid. They all have suggested lately that when it comes to running the country, they have what it takes. And they do: malignant narcissism.”
Johnson has long flirted with a potential presidential bid, while Jenner has already announced that she would challenge Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California as a Republican. Last month, Quaid said he was also “seriously considering” a run for California governor, while McConaughey has talked up running for Texas governor.
“Matthew McConaughey is I’m sure a lovely person, but when he says he says he’s considering a run for governor in Texas, I must say that’s not alright, alright, alright,” Maher said, referring to the actor’s memorable line from the 1993 film “Dazed and Confused.”
Maher contended that former President Donald Trump’s single term in office should be a “cautionary tale” for celebrities who don’t have the sufficient experience for positions like governor or president.
“The last four years was a warning, not an inspiration,” he said. “You were supposed to see that and think, ‘I guess high-level government jobs should go to people who have trained for it and know what they’re doing.'”
Maher also gave a blunt assessment of Jenner’s candidacy.
“I’m sure Caitlyn Jenner is a nice person, but as California governor, she would be in charge of the nation’s fifth-largest economy based on her qualifications of being a background character in a reality show not about her,” he said, alluding to the long-running reality television series “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
He continued: “Governing is a difficult, nuanced job with people’s lives and livelihoods at stake. Perhaps you’ve noticed that things in America have been a little different these last five months. That’s because there are people back in charge who spent their formative years not on a sound stage, but studying the stuff you need to know to be effective on the world stage.”
Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump’s rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions
Delivering his final opinions on the issue, Maher said that celebrities are misguided in thinking that they can overcome the partisan divide prevalent in the US.
“Let me put it bluntly to you and all of these would-be showbiz candidates,” he said. “You’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, and, doggone it, it completely doesn’t matter that people like you. They like you now because you’re an entertainer and thus largely uncontroversial. Governing is the opposite. If you think you can unite the country, you’re delusional.”
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