Kevin O’Leary, a successful entrepreneur and one of the sharks on ABC unscripted series Shark Tank, has entered the race to lead Canada’s Conservative party, reports the Washington Post. With his trademark bravado, he told the paper that he, and only he, has what it takes to dethrone Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a member of the Liberal Party.
O’Leary is 62. Well before he jumped into Shark Tank, where he and other successful entrepreneurs weigh in on a prospective inventor’s product, he was a judge on a similar show that airs on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, called Dragon’s Den. Like Simon Cowell on American Idol, O’Leary prides himself on being the kind of judge who is unafraid to tell a contestant that their product is essentially worthless.
Shark Tank is produced by Mark Burnett, who created The Apprentice, which catapulted Donald Trump to a new level of celebrity.
The Washington Post described O’Leary, who made much of his fortune in software, as a “political neophyte.” His road to the nomination is fraught. He represents the 14th candidate for the Conservative party’s leadership. The nation’s next prime minister election is scheduled for fall 2019.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.