Op-Ed Spotlight: Wyclef Jean on His Presidential Bid

"People might question my motives"

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Wyclef Jean isn't the most unlikely entertainer turned political hopeful (need a reminder of the prominent weight-lifter, the stand-up comic and the wrestler?). He does, however, seem to have attracted his fair share of critics after his announcement that he would take on his politician uncle to run for president of earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

In an open letter written on The Huffington Post, Wyclef Jean describes his serious intentions and lightly pushes back at the skeptics who derided his campaign. Here are the highlights of his announcement:

On His Intentions

Sometimes I've been successful; other times not so much. But for years, I have been trying to help Haiti grow and prosper, and now I think I have the biggest chance I will ever have to make a difference there. I feel my calling is to serve our country in whatever way the people will have me.

On His Critics

Some negative stories continue to be written about me. People might question my motives. Because our daughter is so young, we have shielded her from the negative stories, but when she is a little older, we will talk about those (and there might be many more to come in the next few months -- or years, even, depending on how things go in my campaign to make a brighter future for Angelina and the rest of the youth of Haiti).

On His Family

We went to Cite Soleil, one of the country's most dangerous neighborhoods, to give toys and backpacks to the kids. The hotel where we had stayed was destroyed by the earthquake, crumbled to the ground. We escaped death by only a few weeks -- my daughter, wife and I would have been under the rubble.

UPDATE: In response to Wyclef's announcement, Marjorie Valburn at the Root pens her own open letter asking the Grammy-award winning singer to please reconsider his candidacy.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.