Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson may run for office this year or in an upcoming election cycle.

Dwayne Johnson, originally a professional wrestler turned movie actor, has been appointed in January 2024 as a board member of TKO, the parent company of the company he used to work for as a professional wrestler, WWE. The Rock, as he is referred to in WWE, returned as an on-screen character to WWE this past September. Ever since this return, there have been many references on WWE programming to Dwayne Johnson’s presidential aspirations as a “potential presidential nominee”.

”Cody Rhodes on the 12th of February 2024 episode of WWE Monday Night RAW while referring to The Rock.

The Rock would not be the first celebrity to attempt at a career in politics. The most recent and notable case was former (and potentially next) United States President Donald Trump, who coincidentally also has a link with WWE, as he appeared several times on their programming before he became president. Trump’s ties to the company do not end there, as in 2016, one of the main supporters of Donald Trump’s campaign was Linda McMahon, the wife of former WWE owner Vince McMahon. She contributed a total of 7.2 million US dollars to his campaign. She also served as head of the Small Business Administration under the Trump Administration from 2017 to 2019.

Dwayne Johnson could have run for office this year, but controversies related to wildfires in Hawaii last year could have potentially halted those plans. In August, Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson initiated the People’s Fund of Maui with $5 million each from their personal finances. Via an Instagram video, they appealed to others, empathising with the challenges faced by the island’s residents ravaged by fires, requesting donations. Despite Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey’s announcement of a fund to assist those impacted by the destructive fires in Maui, they found themselves unexpectedly criticised. Many argued that by urging public contributions to the organisation, the affluent pair were evading their own social responsibilities. “You guys literally have so much money…. You can donate it and make it back within a year.” This remark received 10.000 likes and was one of the many criticisms that the pair received. “I could have been better, and next time, I will be better. I understand money ain’t falling out of the sky, and it’s not growing on trees,” Johnson said in response to the critics.

The failure of his latest movie “Black Adam”, paired with the controversies related to the wildfires, may have slowed down the plans of Dwayne Johnson to join the race to become US president. This may have led him to pair up with WWE, in order to subtly relaunch his campaign for presidency in order to run for office in 2028 or 2032. The Rock is very popular with the WWE audience, and his recent references to his presidential aspiration on their programming may be no coincidence, as The Rock is currently a member of the board, which will only make us assume that he has a direct say in what is said on TV, as the words that are said on WWE programming are scripted beforehand and closely monitored. This is probably done to cement this image of The Rock as a potential and legitimate candidate in the minds of the millions of Americans who tune in to WWE programming every week.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson revealed that he was approached by multiple political parties in 2022 after a poll showed significant public support for his potential presidential candidacy, with 46% of Americans backing him. Although flattered by the attention, Johnson admitted that politics has never been his main focus. Despite openly contemplating running for office in the past and even expressing interest in the 2024 presidential campaign “I can’t deny that the thought of being governor, the thought of being president, is alluring.” He has since reconsidered due to his commitments as a parent to his three daughters, aged 22, seven, and five. Johnson emphasised the importance of being present for his children during critical moments in their lives, a factor that influenced his decision to set aside any immediate political aspirations. His role as a wrestler often took him away from his eldest daughter, Simone, and he expressed a desire to avoid similar absences with his younger daughters “The most important thing to me is being a daddy, number one, especially during this critical time in my daughters’ lives”. While Johnson didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of entering politics in the future “If that’s ultimately what the people would want, then of course I would consider it.”, he made it clear that his primary focus is on being a dedicated father, prioritising family over any potential political career aspirations.

As Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson balances his roles in WWE and business, speculation about his political ambitions intensifies. With strategic nods to potential presidential aspirations and subtle campaigning tactics, Johnson appears to be laying the groundwork for a future run. Only time will tell if he’ll translate his star power into a serious bid for office.

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