Is Schilling Fit to Be a Senator?


September 8, 2009

Would you vote for this man?

Yes, that's right — Curt Schilling has reportedly considered running for the Senate in Massachusetts, mulling over a campaign to fill the seat recently vacated by the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Schill has outdone even himself in his ability to attract attention. This is an all-time best for the former World Series co-MVP.

The chances of Schilling actually following through on this are slim. Schill himself admits this. But still, it's fun to speculate. Especially when the topic of speculation is a man like Schilling — big name, big ego, and an opinion about everything. Let's speculate away.

There are a whole lot of pros and a whole lot of cons to the idea of Schill on Capitol Hill. Here's a breakdown, one by one:


1. Schilling is a political figure by nature. He loves campaigning, and it's something that comes naturally to him — it looks like giving speeches is what he was born to do. After Schill pitched the Red Sox to victory in 2004, he went on Good Morning America and parlayed his newfound fame into a little campaign boost for President George W. Bush. Schilling was always a big name, but he became even bigger when the Sox won it all five years ago.

2. He's outspoken, opinionated and passionate about a lot of issues. He clearly cares about people and wants to work hard for them — The Associated Press quoted him as saying that "the person that works 9-to-5 for crap dollars gets spat on, and it's becoming a state that's next to impossible to live and prosper in, and I think it was anything but when it was founded."

"The status quo sucks," he says. "The status quo is not working." If that's the case, maybe he'll work to change it.

3. He's going to get votes. Arnold Schwarzenegger got votes in California, Al Franken got them in Minnesota, and Schill will get them here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Like it or not, there are always going to be voters who fawn over celebrities, and Schilling definitely has a chance to parlay his name recognition into a political victory.


1. He's not even a Massachusetts voter. He's considered "unenrolled" here, meaning that he has no official party affiliation in this state. He's campaigned for Republicans plenty in the past, but technically, he isn't one. If he wants to make a run at the Senate, he'll have to do it as an independent, and he'll have two major-party candidates attacking his carpetbagger status as an Alaska native.

2. At least in practice, he's a Republican. Massachusetts has always been a liberal state, and even with the enormous popularity of the Red Sox in Boston, it seems unlikely that the voters would grant Kennedy's longtime seat to a conservative candidate. No amount of celebrity is enough to wrest the seat away from the Democratic stranglehold in Massachusetts.

3. Schill never likes to lose. We're talking about a classic "big-game pitcher" here — he had an 11-2 career postseason record and a competitive edge that rose with the pressure on. Would he be able to handle losing if he ran for the Senate and things didn't work out? It might be best for the big fella to shelter his ego rather than put it on the line. Running for public office is a huge gamble.

So would Schilling make a good candidate? Maybe not. He's got a little bit of politician in him, but this looks like the wrong place and the wrong time for Schill. Let John Kerry stick to the legislating, and Schill can stick to the blogging and tweeting. That's probably for the best.

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