Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling told the New England Cable Network that he had been contacted by people seeking to recruit him to enter the race to fill the vacant Massachusetts senate seat to succeed the late Senator Edward Kennedy, and that he hadn’t ruled out the possibility.
Now I truly admire Curt Schilling, and will never forget his performance in game 6 of the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees, when his victory forced a game 7, allowing the Red Sox to become the first team in history to come back from a 0-3 deficit, and go to their first World Series since 1986. This was the first “bloody sock” game; the second was in game 2 of the World Series, which Schilling also won, and the Red Sox went on to win their first World Series since 1918. So Schilling is much beloved by Red Sox fans here in New England, and much admired for his charity work, but he will never be senator and here’s why:
- He has no political experience. Now one might argue the case that this is an asset, but one would be wrong.
- He isn’t really from Masschusetts. He was born in Alaska, and grew up in Arizona, where he attended college. He considers the Pittsburgh area to be home. There have been other carpetbaggers with state flags of convenience; Robert Kennedy and Hillary Clinton both became senator in New York on slender evidence of residency, but this isn’t New York.
- He doesn’t have a college degree. In Massachusetts that matters.
- He is known for being something of a hothead and shooting off his mouth, which can be entertaining from an entertainer, but disastrous for a politician. He admitted as much yesterday, saying, “That is probably another one of the reasons why I wouldn’t make a good political candidate right now is that there is an enormous amount of house cleaning that has to be done and I don’t have a really good filter,” Schilling said. “My first press conference could be my last.”
- He has spent much of his public career sparring with the press. The war of words has been fun to follow, but journalists have long memories. He has publicly called Boston Globe sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy a “tool,” a “hack” and an “idiot.” And these are just the ones I can print in a family blog like this. I’m actually not a big Shaughnesssy fan myself, so I find these amusing, but they won’t help Curt run for office. The Boston media would have a field day with him in the run-up to an election.
- There is still some resentment against him among some fans for his last year with the Red Sox in 2008 when he squabbled with management, and never threw a pitch.
- His views are pretty conservative. Ours aren’t.
- He can’t legally run as a Republican. He says he’s registered as an Independent. In Massachussetts law one must be registerd in the party for 90 days before the November 3 deadline. He doesn’t have 90 days. He would have to run as an Independent.