Reliably conservative Texas hasn't elected a Democrat to the Senate in nearly 20 years. But Geoff Berg, a liberal lawyer and Houston radio host, thinks he's found the candidate who can change all that: actor Tommy Lee Jones. Berg has mounted a campaign to draft the Men in Black star to run for Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson's open seat in 2012, claiming that "desperate measures" must be taken to avoid another blowout loss. He has launched a Draft Tommy Lee Jones website, and insists he is "absolutely serious," even though the movie star has not indicated he's even interested in running. But if he did — would he have a shot at victory? (See a recruiting video)
The actor would have a built-in advantage: "Jones would certainly have a lot going for him as a politico in the Lone Star State," says Josh Harkinson at Mother Jones. He grew up in Dallas, lives near San Antonio, could raise a ton of money, and "perhaps most importantly, he looks totally natural in a cowboy hat."
"Tommy Lee Jones: Texas Senator?"
This is just sad: "This is the state of today's political world," says Bruce Felps at NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. "Forget qualifications. Does the candidate have the face-currency to win?" Jones, a Harvard graduate, may well have a sound understanding of the challenges that face Texas. But that's hardly the point, because "name recognition, celebrity status, and fundraising overshadow an understanding of issues and policies."
"Houston attorney touts actor for Senate"
Jones ought to stay on the silver screen: This wouldn't be the first time an inexperienced actor was elected to higher office, but "considering the hash Arnold made of California, his example might not be the best one to use," says Mark Whittington at Yahoo!. Besides, Jones is scheduled to reprise his role as Agent K in the third installment of Men in Black, and, "as amusing as a Jones for Senate run would be, one is even more interested in seeing Agents K and J go after big, bug eyed monster aliens again."
"Tommy Lee Jones for U.S. Senator from Texas"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
Subscribe to the Week