He’ll be president in November?

So it isn’t really punk, but politics are certainly involved. Oh and so is Wyclef Jean, the upcoming Haitian presidential election…and just because you couldn’t have a good story without him…Sean Penn.

Wyclef Jean to run for president of Haiti

“Jean has become so involved with not just the culture but also the cause of Haiti that he feels it’s only logical to follow other artist-to-statesman career trajectories. (He mentions Ronald Reagan and former Czech President Vaclav Havel as examples of the type.)”

Wyclef Jean: Haiti needs a ‘global’ leader

“Responding to critics who have questioned his lack of leadership experience and even his commitment to Haiti, Jean told Reuters his international fame and contacts as a music star would be an asset for the Nov. 28 presidential election.”

Rapper against Wyclef Jean’s bid for Haitian president

“Wyclef Jean’s Fugees bandmate Pras Michel has criticised the singer’s bid to become president of Haiti, saying he is not qualified.”

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6 Comments on “He’ll be president in November?”

  1. Frederack Says:

    This story seems very odd, indeed. I get the fact that he loves his country and can believe that he feels genuine grief over the natural disasters that have struck Haiti. But he is not qualified to run a bake sale, or a charity set up to support Haiti, lets call it Yele Haiti, let alone an impoverished, near failed state!

    His “international fame and contacts as a music star” would be an asset. Come on, potential President and college drop-out Jean! Really! Ronald Reagan was at least a governor before being President and a comparison to Havel… oy! Yes, no doubt Sarkozy would be impressed with his smooth, lyrical rhymes and Harper would be swayed by his sublime fashion sense, but how would that translate into tangible benefits for Haiti. They wouldn’t! A nice Execuitive photo-op, for sure! A concrete plan with firm funding commitments to address the myriad of miseries befalling western Hispanola, surely not.

    Which brings me to my over arching concern, celebrity ego and avarice. I like that celebrities have a social conscious. I like seeing Miss Jolie down in the dirt reading to war orphans in Liberia. I can even understand Madonna’s desire to poach the cutest third world orphans poverty can produce. Celebrities bring cameras and media attention. This, in turn, raises public awarness and, if not already numb to tragedy, compells us to open our wallets.

    But Wyclef’s desire to become President of Haiti is one step to far. All politicans, regardless of how folksy or down-to-earth they seem, are brimming with ego and self-confidence. How else could someone stand in front of the electorate and essentially say, “I am the best you deserve for the next four years.” Politicans are media-whores par excellence! Celebrities are the same way, if not more pampered, insulated, entitled and self-righteous.

    The problem is that Wyclef is not the best the people of Haiti deserve. He is not even what the people of Haiti need. If he wants to donate his personal fortune to rebuild schools and hospitals. If he wants to pick-up a shovel and rebuild infrastructure, great! If he wants to do what he does best – jet-set across the globe, rub elbows with celebutantes and well-meaning politicans and raise attention and money, maybe that’s for the best. In fact, it might be better than him picking-up a shovel or carrying the burden of governing his native land.

  2. Vijayaputra Says:

    The entry of celebrities from Hollywood, Bollywood, or otherwise into the political arena is certainly nothing new. However, my particular problem with Wyclef’s intiative (besides what already has been humorously stated) is his priorities. A successful celebrity of Haitian descent using his alleged international fame and contacts as a music star to draw attention to the plight of his former nation as well as to contribute to the country’s reconstruction is one thing. An out-of-touch-refugee-turned-wealthy-Haitian-American using his resources instead to add being President of one of the most impoverished countries in the world to his resume is quite another. The last thing Haiti needs right now is yet another self-righteous leader who is caught up in his own personality cult.

    Fred is very much correct; Haiti deserves better.


  3. Star’s Candidacy in Haiti Puts Focus on Charity

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/17/world/americas/17haiti.html?hpw

    Mr. Jean also expressed displeasure that his presidential bid has renewed scrutiny of his charity and its history of poor financial management “at a time when I am trying to make a genuine difference.”


  4. turns out New Jersey isn’t in Haiti:

    “Wyclef Jean Barred From Haiti Election”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/21/world/americas/21haiti.html?hp


  5. “Wyclef Jean Says He’ll Challenge Election Ruling”

    Wyclef Jean, the hip-hop star who had hoped to become Haiti’s next president, said Sunday that his lawyers would challenge the recent ruling from election officials that kept him from the list of eligible candidates.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/world/americas/23haiti.html?_r=1&hp


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