Welcome to PoliWood: Celebs Who Became Legit Politicians

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Politics and Hollywood have a lot in common: Big personalities. Deep pockets. Perfect teeth. So it’s not surprising that some celebs have chosen to trade their makeup trailer for a campaign bus – why stop at fame when power is just a vote away?

2012 is a BIG election year, so we figured it was time to review those stars who’ve successfully crossed over from our TV screens – whether it was a hit reality series, 90s action blockbuster, or Monday night wrestling — to the DC scene.

++Sean Duffy

Remember that conservative lumberjack from The Real World: Boston who married Republican Rachel from the San Francisco season after they fell in love during Road Rules: All Stars? Obvi. How could we forget! Well, turns out Sean Duffy became, like, a legit lawyer and even served as District Attorney of Ashland County, Wisconsin from 2002 to 2010. Then he stepped up his GOP game and snagged the U.S Representative seat for Wisconsin’s 7th congressional district. We’re guessing the intensity of MTV’s ridic reality challenges was the perf prep for taking on politics. Though his former Real World roommates would never vote for him. Ouch!

++Clint Eastwood

“Go ahead, make my democracy.” Forget, Dirty Harry — Clean Clint became mayor of charming Carmel-By-The-Sea (seriously, it sounds like mermaids live there) by a landslide victory back in 1986. He served for two years before deciding it was time to growl and scowl his way back onto the silver screen.

++Jesse Ventura

He dropped ‘bows in between the ropes as a pro wrestler — but his greatest take-down has to be figure-fouring the two-party system in his home state. After serving as the mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota — Jesse “The Body” Ventura ran as a Reform Party candidate for governor and even the mainstream tag team of Dems and Reps couldn’t strong-arm him outta the race. Ventura wore the state government heavyweight belt for just one term before leaving the political ring behind.

++Arnold Schwarzenegger

He’s the Governator, y’all — aka an Austrian bodybuilder-turned-Hollywood-action-hero-turned-Californian-head-honcho. Our favorite Kindergarten Cop served two terms as governor of California! Talk about the American Dream! Plus, the original Conan the Barbarian married into American political royalty when he put a ring on a Kennedy finger — although that marriage is probably “hasta la vista, baby” afterlast summer’s scandal.

++Al Franken

Live from DC, it’s Al Franken! The former SNL star and comedian, who critiqued conservatives with several best-selling books and a progressive radio talk show, took his snark to the next level when he challenged the Minnesota incumbent for a seat in the U.S. Senate three years ago. Yes, Stuart Smalley is now a Minnesota senator! It was a hella close race, but Franken pulled out a victory — with 225 more votes than his Republican contender. Phew!

++Sonny Bono

What do you do when your musical marriage is donzo? For the dude half of popular 60s and 70s singing duo “Sonny and Cher,” you become mayor of Palm Springs, California and then a U.S. Congressman, serving two terms in the House. He got you, babe votes. With Sonny sadly gone due to a tragic ski accident, we think Cher should take up her former hubby’s torch — Capitol Hill needs more sequined onesies.

++Ronald Reagan

Someone had to pave the way for Ahhnaaald. Before becoming the Governor of California in 1967, and eventually the 40th President of the United States, the beloved Republican acted in over 50 movies and TV shows. But Reagan never gave up his flair for the dramatic — he dubbed the Soviet Union “the evil empire” and proposed a defense system that was nicknamed “Star Wars” while he was in the White House. May the force be with you, Ronnie.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

++Kal Penn

Stoners everywhere were shocked (aka they said “Duuuude” and then went back to playing video games) when their White Castle Knight in Shining Smoke gave up his whacky weed antics for a serious role in Obama’s administration. He didn’t have to run (can you imagine those campaign rallies?!), but Barack did appoint him an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement working with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities. It’s too bad the Prez didn’t have room for NPH, too – but we’re guessing unicorns aren’t allowed in the Oval Office.

++Kevin Powell

The controversial member of the first-ever season of The Real World has to make this list based on sheer tenacity alone. The former reality star made 3 #FAIL attempts — in 2006, 2008, and 2010 — to win the Democratic nomination in New York’s 10th congressional district. Powell, best known for stoking some heated racial debates during his stay in the 90s New York crib, hit lots of bumps on the campaign trail — like when Dave Chappelle flaked on one of his fundraisers. Ouch. Word on the BK streets is Kevin won’t be back for a fourth try in 2012.

CROSSOVER TO WATCH:

++Alec Baldwin

Thank Anthony Weiner’s weiner for making “Jack Donaghy for Mayor” a possibility in 2013. Unlike his 30 Rock character — a die-hard right-winger who apparently dated Condi Rice – the best Baldwin is a registered Democrat. The blogosphere was beside itself when his rep didn’t outright deny a run for Mayor of the Big Apple, and Alec himself even curiously tweeted: “It’s a long way to November 2013.”  We’d like to officially beg Baldwin to appoint Tracy Morgan to…something when he gets elected. And let’s be real, we all know Tina Fey would secretly be running the city.