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Disney CEO Bob Iger already runs the world’s most successful media company. But could his impeccable mogul credentials carry him to the Oval Office?
Sources say Iger has told friends he is considering their nudges that he make a run for president in 2020 as a Democrat. There’s a hitch. Any political future would hinge on Iger, 66, finding a Disney successor, of course. (Complicating matters, in February, he told financial analysts he would be “open” to remaining as CEO after his contract ends in June 2018.)
Iger told THR in June that “a lot of people — a lot — have urged me to seek political office” but denied he would consider a run for California governor or senator, positions that historically have served as stepping stones to the White House. However, Iger didn’t specifically address the prospect of a White House run at the time.
Sources add that he has since consulted with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg about making the leap from the board room to high office (Bloomberg served as mayor of the nation’s largest city from 2002-12 despite no prior public service).
Iger has plenty of friends in high places within the Democratic party. Former Vice President Al Gore told THR in January that he counts fellow Apple board member Iger among his closest Hollywood friends. A number of politically plugged-in industryites say they would welcome an Iger-led Democratic ticket. Others point out that President Trump, though wildly unpopular in Hollywood, has paved the way for a businessman who has never held public office to become the leader of the free world.
Whoever ultimately tops the ticket — be it Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Washington Gov. and rising star Jay Inslee or Iger — Hollywood is sure to oppose a second Trump term with unprecedented unity.
This past election, some heavy hitters like David Geffen sat on the sidelines rather than back Hillary Clinton, a scenario that won’t likely be repeated.
“Regardless of who is on the Democratic ticket in 2020, I expect Hollywood to rally around the candidate in a way that far eclipses 2016 given the industry’s distaste for Trump’s presidency,” says Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, who along with husband Jon Vein, hosted more than a dozen industry fundraisers for Clinton, including one that the former secretary of state attended last year.
A version of this story first appeared in the March 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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