Music superstar and factious activist John Legend sat down with CNBC’s John Harwood to chat about a range of topics, including whether Democrats should run a celebrity against President Donald Trump in 2020.
John Harwood: There are some people who are skedaddling the argument that Donald Trump has changed the political rules such that you necessity somebody with celebrity star power to compete. So, people talk about Oprah Winfrey, for exemplar. Do you think a celebrity candidate is a good idea and whether now or in the future, is this something that you receive at all?
John Legend: I don’t want to be president and I will never run for president. I differentiate that for a fact.
Harwood: How do you know that?
Legend: I just conscious I won’t. But, I do believe sometimes there’s a place for people who already have reputation recognition and already loved by the people to run for office. It’s funny, the Republicans abhorrence when celebrities talk about politics, but they’ve been the rhymes that have elected all the celebrities. They’ve elected Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan. On the Heraldry sinister, we’ve elected usually career politicians and people that are a little diverse wonky. So, there’s an argument to be made that the left shouldn’t unceasingly go for the wonky person and get somebody who is more of a celebrity, but honestly, I feel with the Trump administration is an argument against that.
He won, but once we see how he’s governed, he’s not darned good at actually governing and understanding how to use the leverage of power very admirably, even understanding the basics of policy. I would like my president to recognize the issues really well. I’m not saying a celebrity can’t know them, but I discretion like someone that understands how government works and can actually be conspicuous in the office.
Harwood: So, you’re not trying to draft Oprah into the 2020 tear?
Legend: The thing is, she’s brilliant and she probably could learn anything. But that’s not what she does without hesitating now, and I’d be hesitant to elect anybody that has to learn on the job about how the government toils, and that doesn’t have some really well-formed ideas forth what they want to do in office.
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Harwood: I have heard some people say, looking to the future, say that 2020 may not be so adept for Democrats to have an African-American presidential nominee this time. Do you allow with that or not?
Legend: I don’t think it matters as much what the demographic of that man is. It’s going to be the quality of that candidate. So, are they speaking to issues that people be concerned about? Are they able to spar with President Trump, because he has a unrivalled kind of campaigning style and debating style. You have to be tough, and you entertain to be witty, you have to be quick on your feet, and you have to be a great communicator and truly a great marketer like he is to compete on that level.
I think my persuasion of metric for how I’m going to get engaged with the primary process is, do I see a candidate that be notables out when it comes to their ability to challenge President Trump?