Thus far, The Rock Report has steered clear of commenting on Dwayne Douglas Johnson’s alleged and much-publicised dreams of becoming a presidential candidate. We daren’t become political pundits, nor do we relish the backlash among our numerous Republican/Democrat (delete as applicable) readers if we find ourselves forced to weigh in and Take A Side.
A tweet too sweet to ignore occurred on The Rock’s timeline this week. On 19 February, The Rock quote-tweeted a man called Jimmy Traina, who had wished a Happy Presidents Day to The Rock, “the future leader of the United States of America”. To accompany his slightly sycophantic message, Traina had chosen a now-famous image of Young Rock resplendent in black polo neck, silver chain, jeans, and all-important fanny pack. The Rock neither ignored this tweet nor batted away the notion that he might one day become President. “Perfect White House portrait,” he said. “Lincoln.. Roosevelt.. Johnson: the fanny pack administration”.
Let’s ignore the fact that The Rock uses two dots and not three to signify an ellipsis. We have to move past that. More surprising is the open acknowledgment on his part that The Rock might have an ‘administration’ at all – even if it is an administration teeming with fanny packs.
It is incumbent on us to take this development seriously, however hard it is to stomach. We have to countenance the fact that, while he goes about his day, promoting the innumerable projects on his slate and pumping inexplicable quantities of iron, The Rock is also thinking: “In the next two years I will make a bid to become the most powerful man on the face of the Earth.” We have to accept that this is a real moment that regularly and really occurs in the real world; that a man who once said, “The Rock will take you down to Know Your Role Boulevard, which is on the corner of Jabroni Drive, and check you directly into the Smackdown Hotel!” might one day be sitting next to Angela Merkel to discuss the complexities of a trade agreement between Germany and the US.
He is going the right way about it – by fielding presidential praise in this likeable and self-deprecating way but also, as previously observed, by speaking disarmingly like the current president of the United States. He unwittingly did so again this week, when, in an Instagram video about his upcoming TV series The Titan Games, he said: “We’re off to a great start: more applicants than NBC has seen in years for a competition series.” This is the hyperbole we come to expect from Donald Trump and are now seeing regularly in the proclamations of Mr Johnson.
So. We are watching. As ever, we stand ready in the wings, watching closely as this nascent bid for power finds its feet. If The Rock is not entertaining a presidential bid, he is indulging in some grade-A trolling of millions upon millions of people – many of whom are hoping that he will free them from the clutches of a man whom they could also never have imagined becoming the leader of the free world. A 2020 Johnson campaign looks more and more inevitable.
For now, we bide our time and we wait. But one day… one day soon…The Rock will announce that he aims to become the next person to take control of the White House. Until then, as always, stay hungry, stay humble.
(Illustration: Dan Evans)