The Rock in 2020? Why Dwayne Johnson could run for president

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What You Need to Know: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

If Donald Trump can win America's highest office, Dwayne Johnson's political rise — if he wants one — could be rocket-like by comparison.

GQ cover story by Caity Weaver delves into the potential candidacy of Johnson, who from his wrestling fame as The Rock became the highest-paid actor in the world. The story provides plenty of nuggets about the most famous UM alum in the universe and how he's grappling with his nascent political ambition.

From the profile:

“Johnson doesn’t hesitate when I ask him whether he honestly might one day give up his life as the highest-paid movie star on earth—which is unquestionably easier, more fun, and more lucrative than being president of the United States—in order to run for office. 'I think that it’s a real possibility,' he says solemnly.”

Politically, Johnson is ambiguous. Weaver writes that he spoke at the 2000 Republican convention but also attended the Democratic convention and is currently a registered independent. Last year, both parties asked him for a presidential endorsement, and he declined. He reveals in the profile that he is strongly against Trump’s executive order banning travelers from Muslim majority countries.

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When Weaver asks how he thinks Trump is doing, he is careful but doesn't avoid the question.

"‘Mmm … With any job you come into, you’ve got to prove yourself. And …' Johnson pauses, performing lightning-fast mental calibrations. 'Personally, I feel that if I were president, poise would be important. Leadership would be important. Taking responsibility for everybody. [If I didn’t agree with someone] on something, I wouldn’t shut them out. I would actually include them. The first thing we’d do is we’d come and sit down and we’d talk about it. It’s hard to categorize right now how I think he’s doing, other than to tell you how I would operate, what I would like to see.'

“'What would you like to see?'

“'Right?' Johnson says, laughing. He’s obviously a little nervous, plucking at the spandex material stretching across his massive thighs, but he doesn’t attempt to end the line of questioning. 'I’d like to see a better leadership. I’d like to see a greater leadership.'”

Clearly, he has immense cross-cultural appeal, as the profile explores.

He is the son of an African-Canadian father and Samoan-American mother, who has residency ties to all corners of the country, is beloved in the heartland, and as a movie actor, has cross-cultural and demographic bonafides. Weaver writes of a hyper-patriotic celebrity who is a “quick study with boundless attention to detail,” projects “authority, capability and strength,” and possesses “supercharged charm.”

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MIAMI BEACH, FL - JULY 14: Dwayne Johnson attends the HBO "Ballers" Season 2 Red Carpet Premiere and Reception on July 14, 2016 at New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for HBO)

Credit: Aaron Davidson

MIAMI BEACH, FL - JULY 14:  Dwayne Johnson attends the HBO "Ballers" Season 2 Red Carpet Premiere and Reception on July 14, 2016 at New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for HBO)

Credit: Aaron Davidson

caption arrowCaption
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JULY 14: Dwayne Johnson attends the HBO "Ballers" Season 2 Red Carpet Premiere and Reception on July 14, 2016 at New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images for HBO)

Credit: Aaron Davidson

Credit: Aaron Davidson

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