Geraldo Rivera has been a media fixture for decades. He could parlay that notoriety into a political career — but not just yet.
Rivera announced that he will no longer be “pondering” the major career change of running for Senate, the Daily Caller reported. Although he was mulling a run to replace retiring Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Rivera reportedly reconsidered after Fox told him to “pick a lane.”
The Fox News correspondent had previously announced his plans in a Wednesday tweet. However, just days later, he told co-host Steve Doocy that he reconsidered after the network “freaked out” and that he decided to give it more thought.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) March 10, 2021
“Well you know what happens? You wake up, you have a dream and the thing is you probably should keep your dream to yourself,” Rivera said. “Instead I started talking to Erica [Rivera’s wife] about it, we both got very enthusiastic. We really do think that I’m a moderate Republican. We can do something in a state like Ohio,” he said.
“The reaction, the initial vibe was great but it was also much more overwhelming than I ever expected,” Rivera went on, “Fox freaked out, you know, said pick a lane, are you a journalist or a politician and I wasn’t ready to, you know, jump off my current turn-style, so, instead I had to kind of embarrass myself and say never mind.”
In January, Rivera publicly lamented he thought the country was “increasingly polarized” and that “members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground,” he said, according to The Hill. “This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades.”
Rivera was also an avid supporter of former President Donald Trump but turned against him in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, accusing him of acting “like an entitled frat boy.” He joined calls for Trump’s impeachment after the Jan. 6 incursion at the U.S. Capitol and blamed the former president’s refusal to accept election results. “It revealed the disfunction in him that I had refused to see,” Rivera commented.
There’s a kernel of truth to Rivera’s assessment of the state of American politics. However, the journalist best known for the spectacular letdown that happened when he opened Al Capone’s vault on live television only to find it empty should just “pick a lane.” While it is possible to make the leap from media into politics, it may not suit Rivera as he still lives in the shadow of his previous unserious and sensationalist antics.