George Clooney's gun-control donation prompts presidential speculation

George Clooney prompted a fresh round of speculation about his possible political ambitions when he announced that he and his wife, Amal, would be donating US$500,000 to next month's gun-rights march.
George Clooney prompted a fresh round of speculation about his possible political ambitions when he announced that he and his wife, Amal, would be donating US$500,000 to next month's gun-rights march.PHOTO: REUTERS

(WASHINGTON POST) - Speculating about an Oprah presidential bid is sooo last month. The celebrity whose 2020 plans everyone is suddenly interested in: George Clooney.

The actor prompted a fresh round of speculation about his possible political ambitions when he announced via Twitter that he and his wife, human rights attorney Amal Clooney, would be donating US$500,000 (S$662,175) to the gun-rights march being held March 24, and would participate in the protest. Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who has been the subject of intense speculation following a fiery, politically tinged Golden Globes speech, followed with a tweet saying she'd match the Clooney's big gift.

Cue the sirens. "CLOONEY 2020 VISION? OPRAH TEAMS WITH GEORGE" was the all-caps headline blaring across the Drudge Report, with a link to the Hill newspaper's story about the twin donations.

(We should note that the splashy Clooney gift is hardly out of character - in fact, it's exactly what he's long been known for: cutting big checks for liberal causes and showing his chiselled face in their support.) But the echo chamber was already noisy.

Even Fox News host Sean Hannity hyped the possibility, expressing his mock support for a possible Clooney bid during his Tuesday afternoon radio show. "My attitude is, 'Run, George, run,'" said Hannity, who is an outspoken backer of President Donald Trump, Clooney's ostensible rival. "If George Clooney wants to run, I'm all for it."

And hey, while we're at it, why not widen the field? Director Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw said that they, too, would match the Clooneys' donation. Film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, also said they would put up US$500,000.

And although he hasn't pledged to open his wallet, Justin Bieber tweeted his support for the march. So ... Bieber 2020? Never mind, he's Canadian. And not old enough.