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The Rock Ends Theoretical Presidential Bid to Spend More Time With Family

Photo: Disney General Entertainment Con

Can you smell what the Rock is cooking? Hint: It’s not a U.S. presidential campaign. Actor Dwayne Johnson finally put an end to the long-simmering, often self-fueled rumors he was considering launching a presidential run, telling CBS Sunday Morning in an interview airing October 9 he had to put his family first. Sadly, he was referring to his literal family, not his Fast & Furious family.

When asked about running for president, Johnson told CBS correspondent Tracy Smith, “It is off the table.”

“I will say this because it requires a B-side to this,” he explained. “I love our country and everyone in it. I also love being a daddy. And that’s the most important thing to me is being a daddy — No. 1 — especially during this time, this critical time in my daughters’ lives. Because I know what it was like to be on the road and be so busy that I was absent for a lot of years in my first daughter’s, growing up in this critical age, at this critical time in their life, and that’s what the presidency would do.”

“Sure, CEO sounds great,” he added. “But the No. 1 thing I want to be is Daddy. That’s it.”

I’m excited to know that the Rock loves me. I love him, too. But I have some concerns.

Johnson has run his entire noncandidacy like a true politician. He teased the idea of a presidential run as far back as 2016 and even joked about the idea in a Saturday Night Live monologue.

And throughout the Trump years, he’d periodically tell publications he was exploring a run. He was always vague about his time frame and even his political affiliation, but he’d already come up with a cool story about how his campaign launch would go down. Here’s an excerpt from a 2018 Rolling Stone profile:

Johnson smiles. “I will say this really quick, which is cool. So there’s a well-known political figure who said, ‘All right, listen. If and when you want to run for president, when you text me this word, I’ll come running. Don’t text any other word – not hi, not how you doing, not what’s up. Just this word.”

So what’s the word?

“The word is fr— I can’t say the word!”

Is it freedom?

Johnson smiles again. “Freedom patriot. Two words.”

In 2032, he will have just turned 60. Freedom patriot. Mark it down. 

Johnson was such a good aspiring politician that it makes sense on some level his imaginary political career would be felled by a sudden need to “spend more time with my family” — that excuse is a true classic.

It’s also usually code for “some private employer offered me an obscene amount of money” or “a career-ending scandal is about to come out.” Johnson topped Forbes’s list of Hollywood’s highest-paid entertainers in February with an estimated annual salary of $270 million. So I guess that’s a possible explanation. But why would he rule out his hypothetical White House bid now at the age of 50? Johnson could run for president in the 2048 election and he’d still be younger than Joe Biden was when he was sworn in.

Something doesn’t add up, and I’m a tad worried that some fake political scandal might have put an early end to Johnson’s fake political career. Did he think about plagiarizing parts of his stump speech? Was he planning to misappropriate campaign funds by letting donors buy his kids a dog? Did he intend to get caught doing something untoward on an ironically named boat? Now we’ll never know, and Johnson won’t have a chance to defend himself from these bombshell revelations I just made up.

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Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson Ends Theoretical Presidential Bid