-By Tommy Foltz
Does Tommy Tuberville want to be president? Former U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers (D-AR) used to say that the Senate is filled with 100 members who think they should be president.
Tuberville (from Camden, AR, graduate of Southern Arkansas) is running for the U.S. Senate out of Alabama and has made it into a runoff with Jeff Sessions, who served in the Senate for 20 years until he was appointed by Donald J. Trump as Attorney General.
When it became clear that Trump didn’t understand that the role of the Attorney General is not to serve as the president’s personal lawyer, which Sessions didn’t, Trump basically sent him back to Alabama.
So, now he’s trying to regain his seat. One man stands in his way: Tommy Tuberville.
Tuberville has no political experience, but what the Hell, he coached Auburn for about 10 years. So, he must be qualified…….
EXPERIENCE NOT NECESSARY:
There are many political observers who don’t think experience matters in running for office. Granted, it may not. But, what may matter is the ability to play well with others.
Tuberville has been a head coach at Auburn, Texas Tech, Cincinnati and Ole Miss. Being a head coach is a lot different than being one of 100 members of the U.S. Senate where a member has to negotiate on the issues that affect all of us.
As a head coach, you have the final decision. As a member of the U.S Senate, you’re one of many who get to participate in the decision. Assistant coaches have fewer people to negotiate with, especially when it comes to their area of the team.
But, hey, he coached Auburn for 10 years and won SEC Coach of the Year twice — so the sky is the limit, right?
AUBURN v. ALABAMA:
Tuberville is not the first sports figure to run for office. JC Watts (former Oklahoma QB) and Steve Largent (former Tulsa wide receiver) went into politics as well as Tom Osborne (former coach at Nebraska) had successful careers in politics.
Closer to home, former Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright was a star four-year Razorback football player in the Roaring Twenties. He later won a seat in the U.S. Senate out of Arkansas, became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was renowned worldwide for the work he did, especially in being the first establishment figure to voice opposition to the Vietnam conflict. Ever heard of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences or the Fulbright Scholars Program?
More recently, former football Razorback Bruce Westerman (a walk-on in the late 1980s) has become a U.S. Congressman from Arkansas. Before that, John Boozman, now a U.S. Senator, played for the Hogs in the early 1970s. Boozman even has a tribute to former Hogs coach Frank Broyles on his Website.
“In 2005, I welcomed Coach Broyles to Washington as he encouraged lawmakers to be passionate about Alzheimer’s so we can find a cure. He told members of the Health Subcommittee of the House Policy Committee that they all have compassion, but they needed to turn that compassion into passion to make a difference. By sharing his story with Congress, Coach Broyles helped shine a light on the struggles families undergo while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, pushed policymakers to support programs that can help families in this situation and advocated for a cure for this devastating disease.-John Boozman
With all due respect to Tulsa (and Oklahoma State) fans, everybody mentioned above previously came from states that basically have one program in their states, and there is no dissension.
THE QUESTION IS:
On March 31, in the Republican Senate primary runoff, will Alabama fans turn out in droves to vote against Tuberville or vice versa?
The answer to that is, in my humble opinion and as someone who has been involved in politics, probably not. Run-off elections have notoriously low numbers and whoever has the best ground game (the most hardcore supporters who will go to the polls) is the one who wins.
HERE’S THE DEAL:
It’s very possible that Tommy Tuberville has better name recognition than Jeff Sessions in Alabama, but I would bet my bottom dollar that his ground game is not as good as Sessions.’ We already see some of this in the attack ad below:
Because of that, Tuberville will probably lose the run-off.
There’s a caveat here.
It’s possible that the voters of Alabama are so enamored with our orange-haired, tweet-happy, president that they don’t trust Sessions after Sessions was fired by Donal Trump. In that case, the Crimson Tide fan voters may make an exception for Tubervlle’s Tiger-ness and disregard the rivalry element of the race.
We’ll know the answer to that soon enough.
That’s my story and I’m sticking with it…