Friday, January 26, 2007

Blame me for the Schilling stories


So, three-and-a-half months after I started the whole Curt Schilling for Senate thing by explaining exactly why Schilling would make a great candidate, the story finally has some legs. Sure, it took a talk-show caller to get the ball rolling. But I didn't really expect a whole lot to come of it in the first place.

I kind of thought it was going to take off back in November when I first wrote the article here and cross-posted it at Blue Mass Group. Universal Hub linked to the post and the Hub Blog pooh poohed the idea, but after a couple of days of traffic, things settled down.

But not completely. Out of the blue about a month later, I received an email from the political editor at an in-state TV news organization, wanting to do an on-air piece about my post:

From: TV Personality [mailto:TV Personality@WXXX-TV]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 2:34 PM
Subject: schilling gop

I saw your posting about Schilling saving the GOP and wondered if you got any feedback. I'm the political editor at XXXXXX and might do something funny about it. Let me know. Write back or call at XXX-XXX-XXXX.
I was a little wary, I got the impression that he thought the post was a joke. Or at least he thought the idea was a joke. After replying, I received another email which confirmed my suspicions:
From: TV Personality [mailto:TV Personality@WXXX-TV]
Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2006 3:59 PM
To: nodrumlins
Subject: RE: schilling gop

did you post it just as a joke or do you think schilling might actually be interested someday? Would like to talk to you on phone about it. you can call me if you want at XXX-XXX-XXXX
I tried to convince the editor that there was a real story here:
From: nodrumlins []
Sent: Tue 12/5/2006 4:59 PM
To: TV Personality
Subject: RE: schilling gop

No, I was serious. I don’t know if he’d be interested or not, but with all the stories after the election about how the Republican party had essentially lost viability in the state, I was trying to think of a Republican who might be able to compete in a state-wide election. I’d bet if you polled voters today about their preferences, Schilling would lead any other Republicans in a potential primary match-up, and would lead at least a couple of potential Dems in a general election.

For instance, I listed Kerry Healey, Paul Cellucci, Wayne Budd, and Ralph Martin as other potential Republicans, and the more savvy readers at Blue Mass Group mentioned Charlie Baker. If you were to poll those six names among likely Republican primary voters, I’ll bet Schilling would have a double-digit lead.

Among potential Dems, if you match him Schilling up against Jim McGovern, Marty Meehan, Ed Markey, or Stephen Lynch, I’ll bet he’d be even or ahead. He would probably trail Barney Frank or John Kerry, but Kerry’s negatives are so high even that might be close.

In the end, I don’t know that he would win, but I imagine he could energize the campaign and turn Mass. into a top-tier Senate race for ’08.
Essentially, I gave this editor the story six weeks before WRKO found it. I declined to go on camera--both because I wished to remain somewhat anonymous and because I feared he would be making fun of me more than taking me seriously--and apparently that was reason enough not to run with the story.

And now, the story has taken off on its own. WRKO started a petition drive to draft Schilling. Channel 7 included it in their 6 o'clock news. The Herald fronted the story in this morning's paper, and made more news when Schilling wouldn't rule it out:
“I couldn’t rule it out because it’s not something I ever thought about in a serious capacity,” Schilling told the Herald.

“I envision that I will probably be pretty busy in 2008,” he said. “But I’m flattered as hell to even make this phone call.”
And I'm flattered as hell that someone is running with the story.

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