Singer Wyclef Jean is reportedly considering running for president in his native Haiti. Jean's family says he hasn't yet decided whether to declare his candidacy, but that the activist and former Fugees frontman's "commitment to his homeland and its youth is boundless, and he will remain its greatest supporter regardless of whether he is part of the government moving forward." Would Haiti benefit from Jean's energy and fame, or would putting a celebrity in charge only make it harder for the Caribbean nation to recover from January's devastating earthquake? (Watch an AP report about Wyclef's presidential possibility)
Haiti needs a president, not a celebrity: "Wyclef's music is great," says Hamilton Nolan at Gawker, but "musicians don't always make the greatest politicians." And inexperience isn't the only reason Jean might be the leader Haiti needs right now. His charity, Yele Haiti, has increased his visibility since Haiti's earthquake, but the scrutiny has revealed it to be "generally shady, or, at the very least, poorly run."
"Wyclef Jean: Haiti's next president?"
Jean inspires hope in young Haitians: The allegations of mismanagement at Yele Haiti will get a full airing, say Guychardson Destin and Tenley Woodman in the Boston Herald, if Wyclef Jean, who was born outside Port-au-Prince but raised in the U.S., throws his hat in the ring, and is determined to be eligible to run. But his popularity will make him an instant "contender." Young Haitians admire his success, and are hopeful he can "bring change to their impoverished country."
"Boston hopes for Haiti president bid by Wyclef Jean"
If Wyclef runs, he'll regret it: Wyclef Jean is widely respected in Haiti, says Garry Pierre-Pierre at The Grio. When he literally wrapped himself in the Haitian flag while accepting his 1997 Grammy, he made the entire nation proud. But running for president would be "the biggest mistake of his life." Haiti's problems — poverty, corruption, rampant cynicism — are "intractable," and he stands no chance of governing effectively.
"President Wyclef? Haiti would be hell for former Fugee"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The uncomfortable truth in The Giving Tree
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The U.S. government is actually trouncing Ebola. When will it get credit?
- The simple trick to making better decisions in every aspect of life
- Why 2014 may be as good as it gets for the Republican Party
- Why America needs more billionaires
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
Subscribe to the Week