“I’d get elected on Friday, assassinated on Saturday, and buried on Sunday.”
I still haven’t wrapped my head around ‘Clef’s announcement to run for president of Haiti. The performance of “If I Were President” on the Chappelle Show years ago was just what it seemed — a song. Or at least that’s what we thought then. Now, the Haitian-born singer is taking his aspirations and dedication to another level. Since announcing, he’s received his fair share of opposition to the idea and accusations. Obviously, YELE’s slightly tainted history is a smear that he won’t be able to wipe away soon and the revelation that he owes $2.1 million in back taxes doesn’t help at all.
What perhaps speaks volumes is that former bandmate Pras is backing Wyclef’s opponent, Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly. Could be hate, could be genuine concern for Haiti. Yesterday on Twitter, I joked that I’d wait on Young Zee and John Forte to chime in, which John did a few hours later (still waiting on Zee’s input).
Overall, I question how effective a singer-turned-politician would be in political office, given that he has no previous experience. Yesterday, an aspiring artist asked if I’d be interested in being his manager. Respectfully, I declined. In fact, I’ve declined three similar offers over the course of the summer. My response is always the same: I’m humbled, but I’m also honest. I’ve dealt with people on every rung of the music ladder. That doesn’t mean I’m equipped to help guide anyone’s musical career. It’s the same parallel I draw with Wyclef attempting this move. One can be motivated and have the sincerest intentions of success, but if the skill set isn’t there the endeavor is doomed before beginning.
DO: Clean out your closet (and your text message inbox!).
AH! You’re not making this easy on yourself, ‘Clef. Listen, now that you want to become Mr. President, we’re sure you’re getting a better idea of just how squeaky clean you’ve got to be. Aside from the tax liens, The Smoking Gun also found that you paid an alleged mistress $105,000 in 2008–using funds from your Yele Haiti charity! (nice touch resigning from Yele Haiti recently, too!) If you become President, remember two things: No blowing the bank on a female on the company’s dollar and no “keeping in touch” with a female who doesn’t bear your last name. Paper trails are a mother. Word to Kwame Kilpatrick.
DON’T: Be a paper President.
Becoming the President of Haiti is serious business. So if you’re gonna do this, ‘Clef, do it seriously. So if you’re gonna do this, ‘Clef, do it seriously. That means once you become President, we don’t want to see you back in the States. You need to be in Haiti working. We don’t want to see your Lambo cruising down Ocean Drive in Miami. We don’t want to see you kicking it at Wet Willie’s. We don’t even want to see you at the Grammy’s or the MTV Video Music Awards (let Lauryn collect all the awards from that Fugees reunion we mentioned earlier). Stay in Haiti and do what you have to do. We won’t take it personally.
Read the rest of “Ready or Not: 10 Things Wyclef Jean Must Do as President of Haiti.”