“I’m a Miranda and I choose Cynthia” stands on the bags and T-shirts of her supporters: Almost 15 years after the end of the hit series “S*x and the City” wants Cynthia Nixon, who has played in the career advocate Miranda Hobbes, Governor of the State of New York.
On Thursday (13 September), she will face incumbent Andrew Cuomo in the primary for candidacy for the Democratic Party. The gubernatorial election is then scheduled for 6 November.
“What does it mean to be a ‘Miranda’ in 2018? It means defining yourself and your life, being true to what’s right and supporting other women, “says Nixon. “For me, using my passion for justice everywhere – especially in education and reforming the criminal justice system – means making my home state of New York a better place for everyone. That’s why I apply for governorship. I think Miranda would support Cynthia Nixon as governor. “
The change from acting or even from the music business into high political offices is not uncommon in the USA. The best-known example is US President Ronald Reagan (1981-1989), who was a contractor at Warner Bros before his political career and has appeared in dozens of films and television series. California’s former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (2003-2011) starred in “Terminator” films and won a Golden Globe. Both were awarded a star on the “Walk of Fame” in Hollywood.
Former wrestler Jesse Ventura became Governor of Minnesota in 1998. Pop singer Sonny Bono (1935-1998) was first elected mayor of Palm Springs in the state of California and 1994 in the US House of Representatives. Film star Shirley Temple (1928-2014) failed in 1967 with a congressional candidature, but then got a post as ambassador. Her colleague Clint Eastwood spent two years in the 1990s as mayor of the coastal town of Carmel, California.
Even the current US President Donald Trump has collected camera experience with the television show “The Celebrity Apprentice” prior to his political career. Again and again rapper Kanye West makes it clear that he does not exclude a run on the White House. “It could happen 100 percent, 2024,” West recently told radio station Power 92 in Chicago. “If I decide to, it will happen. It will not be an attempt. “
Outside the US, many actors and singers have also developed political ambitions. The Filipino film star Joseph Estrada was president between 1998 and 2001. Legendary Argentine actress Evita Peron played an influential role as “Presidenta” alongside her husband, President Juan Peron, until her death in 1952. The Polish political twins Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski played as teenagers in a children’s film.
There are also examples from Thailand, India, Brazil, Great Britain and Pakistan. In Germany, the former “crime scene” commissioner Peter Sodann committed for the party The Left and in May 2008 unsuccessfully for the Office of the Federal President.
The advantage: Those who do well on the film set in front of the camera often make a good impression in front of the press and the public. The downside: Lack of policy experience and an already existing screen image, which may not necessarily correspond to reality and may not be liked by all.
Cynthia Nixon has been successful in the industry long before “S*x and the City”. Even as a teenager, the 1966 New York-born actress stood in front of the camera. She was just 14 years old when she released her first movie “Little Beasts”. The role of Miranda Hobbes then made her a world star, then she retired mainly to the theater.
Nixon, who lives on upscale New York’s Upper West Side, has two children from a previous relationship with fellow student Danny Mozes. She is married since 2012 to the activist Christine Marinoni, the couple has a son.
But: “New Yorkers are not Californians – we do not see publicity as a qualification for a political office,” said political scientist Ester Fuchs of New York’s Columbia University the “Guardian”. “The people in this city are very oversaturated – they are not so fond of celebrity.”
With incumbent Andrew Cuomo, Nixon, who had made public statements before her candidacy, especially on education issues, has a strong counter-candidate. The incumbent is popular, has the backing of big financiers and associations and has been clearly ahead of Nixon in all polls.
Cuomo is a “corrupt corporate Democrat,” the 52-year-old accused her challenger in a television debate. The 60-year-old incumbent, whose father was also already Governor of New York and wants to compete for a third term, criticized the lack of experience of his challenger. “My opponent lives in the world of fiction, I live in the world of facts.”
Although Nixon’s name is very well known, says scientist Fuchs. “But that does not mean support right away – and that may have upset her.”