Citing Ronald Reagan (USA) and Vaclav Havel (Czechoslovakia) as precedents for artists-turned-heads of state, Wyclef announced his candidacy, just days before the deadline, for the presidency of Haiti to Time Magazine. Rumors swirled for weeks the rapper might throw his metaphorical hat in the ring. If he wins, I guess we shouldn’t hold our breath for a Fugees reunion anytime soon. BOO.
“If not for the earthquake, I probably would have waited another 10 years before doing this,” Jean said. “If I can’t take five years out to serve my country as President…then everything I’ve been singing about, like equal rights, doesn’t mean anything.”
Though Wyclef is correct in referencing Reagan and Havel as precedents, both of them had decades of political leadership under their belts before becoming president, which the former Fugees’ frontman lacks. Other examples include Filipino actor Joseph Estrada winning the election in the Philippines in 1998, the widest margin in the country’s history. Poland also elected former child actor Lech Kaczynski as their head of state.
While musicians are often at the forefront of raising issues to masses, none have ever made the leap to the big leagues. Sure Sonny Bono was a California Congressman, but the closest thing to a musician-turned-head of state can be found in the island nation Madagascar. A former DJ, Andry Rajoelina, took power in a military coup in 2009.
Many believe Wyclef has an excellent shot of winning the election due to the huge fan base he’s amassed through his musical career and extensive charity work. Not only do many think he’ll win, but plenty feel he will make a big difference for the beleaguered nation. Wylcef’s foundation, Yele Haiti, has raised $9 million since the devastating earthquake which killed more than 200,000 people in January 2010.
What do you think of Wyclef running for presidency for Haiti? Given the country’s turbulent and corrupt past, I can’t see him doing any worse. I think this is probably the best thing that could happen for the island nation. Just think, Justin Bieber can run for Prime Minister of Canada in thirty years or Miley Cyrus for the USA. Heck, all she has to do is rewrite the lyrics for her hit “Party In The USA” as her campaign song.