- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Dwayne Johnson is doing his homework with “Republicans, Democrats, independents, mayors” and others for the possibility of shifting professional gears from Hollywood icon to politician.

The star of “Jumanji” and the HBO series “Ballers” has taken repeated calls for him to consider a White House run seriously enough to begin “under-the-radar” talks with political experts. The actor, who opted not to vote in 2016 after doing so in 2008 and 2012 for former president Obama, says fans will get a better feel for his political identity soon.

“[I’m] just soaking in and listening,” he told Rolling Stone magazine for an interview published Wednesday. “Trying to learn as much as I possibly can. I entertain the thought, and thank you, I’m so flattered by it. But I feel like the best thing I can do now is, give me years. Let me go to work and learn.”

“The Rock” prefaced his comments in the wide-ranging interview by saying he isn’t “delusioned in any way to think, ‘Oh, absolutely, if Trump can do it, I can do it, and I’ll see you in 20—whatever, get ready.’ Not at all.”

“I will say this really quick, which is cool,” he added. “So there’s a well-known political figure who said, ‘All right, listen. If and when you want to run for president, when you text me this word, I’ll come running. Don’t text any other word — not hi, not how you doing, not what’s up. Just this word.”

“So what’s the word?” Rolling Stone’s Josh Eells asked.

“The word is fr— I can’t say the word!” Mr. Johnson replied.

“Is it freedom?” the writer replied.

“Freedom patriot. Two words,” the actor said with a smile.

Mr. Johnson said that he will be “a little bit more vocal” during the 2020 presidential election season.

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