Curt Schilling Discusses a Potential Senate Run on D&C
Curt Schilling appeared on the Dennis & Callahan Show on Thursday morning, with Bob Neumeier filling in for John Dennis. A transcript of his conversation about a potential Senate run is below. The interview can also be heard in its entirety by clicking here:
Are you contemplating a run for the vacant Massachusetts Senate seat?
I’ve thought about it.
Most dread the idea of campaigning and debating – the fight.
The fight would be fun. The whole spotlight/media crap, not so much. But the fight would be a lot of fun, because pretty much anyone you’re fighting against who’s in office right now doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on. There’s nobody who can stand up and say, ‘Look at what I’ve done over the last two, four, six, eight, 12, 20 years.’ Because those are the people who the pitchforks and torches are out for.’
What are the pros and cons of running?
There’s a massive amount of cons: family, time, commitment. My family’s been exposed to the public life, my kids for their entire lives, my wife for the last 20 years. Part of walking away from the game was walking away from that. That would be right back in the mix. There’s just a lot of cons. At the same time, there’s a lot of cons in office. There’s a lot of pros. It’s not nearly as easy as it might be had I not opened the studio and run this business.
What are the pros?
The ability to change the world. Big pro. I spent 20 years in an industry where I got what you’d call famous and celebrity and all the stuff that goes with that, and the financials that come with that, so none of those would be incentives for me to run, which I think cuts away at a lot of the reason behind why a lot of other people do it. I think there’s so much broke here that the fixing piece, I don’t think you’d have to look very hard to find a piece of debris and start reforming and fixing it.
You would probably speak your mind in office.
Which is probably one of the reasons why it wouldn’t work out real well for me. You can make an argument that everybody wants fresh blood and somebody who doesn’t know how to play the game. But what people say and what actually happens are often two very different things.
There are people who have called to say they wouldn’t support you. Why not? (Co-host interjects: No experience.)
I supported Bush. I supported Bush is the No. 1 reason. That’s the reason people wouldn’t vote for me.
Bill Bradley was elected a senator after going to Princeton, being a Rhodes Scholar, playing in the NBA. But he ran without experience. What did he have on you?
What’s the opposite of a Rhodes Scholar? A degree in Papelbon? I’m kidding. The no experience thing, if it’s used right, is an enormous asset. There’s nobody who you’d go against who you couldn’t probably drag out a laundry list of stuff and say, ‘This person has already proven that they’re status quo, that they’re business as usual, and we need anything but in everyway way, shape and form moving forward.’
There are absolutely zero ties and attachments and special interests on my end. Again, that might be one of the things that would make it just impossible to happen…Those are a lot of the reasons why we find ourselves where we are.
Where do you go from here?
I don’t go anywhere with it. It’s turned and blown up into this epically huge thing…
I did an interview yesterday where I said, ‘Yeah, I’ve thought about it.’ But if you listen to the full interview, you understand very clearly that what I’m saying is that a lot of things would have to align themselves. The chances of it happening are slim to none, but they ran with, ‘I’m thinking about it.’ So it’s just gone nuts. The easy thing would be to say, ‘Absolutely not.’ But I’d be lying. It’s not an absolute certainty one way or the other. If there’s the potential and possibility and some things align themselves on the home front, ultimately it comes down to the conversation between Shonda and I – the wife and the kids. I’m pretty sure it’s not something she’s remotely interested in, even though we haven’t had the conversation to any degree.
Have you thought through how it could unfold to give you a chance to win in the election?
Oh yeah, yeah.
I would not even remotely consider it if I wasn’t planning on winning. There would be no reason to do any of this if I didn’t believe I was going to win. That being said, there’s a lot of stuff that comes into play, a lot of personal stuff that comes into play. I have another huge advantage in that I’d walk into this race with my closet open, and all the things that go with that.
All of the things that have been looked on as pluses, as we wade deeper and deeper into this quagmire that this country is in, that all those things we wanted and assumed our politicians needed aren’t really positives.
The first question if you won would be what credentials you have to take the seat.
It’s a legitimate question, and a question everyone would ask. My credentials are that I have no baggage. I have no special interests and I have no ties. I would be coming in to help this state get back to what it was, what it should be and what it can be. It’s a state, there needs to be an immense amount of focus inward. We have one of the best education systems on the planet in this state. It’s something that we should be trumpeting and parading around. We’ve got an immense amount of special interests in this state that are doing everything and anything they can, that have no interest whatsoever in the working man. The person that works nine-to-five for crap dollars is getting spat on. It’s becoming a state that’s next to impossible to live and prosper in. I think it was anything but when it was founded. My credentials, I wouldn’t call them so much credentials as advantages.
You’re running a business in this state – you learn about how things work.
I’ve put millions and millions of dollars into this company and into the state economy, and done so gladly. The 38 Studios, every program we have for our employees is top of the line. It’s expensive – incredibly expensive. But it’s the price you pay to do business in this state. I’m not saying that’s a good or a bad thing. It could be better. Again, I go back to the fact that this state is looked on probably next to Illinois as one of the most corrupt, laughable political scenes in the nation. It should be just the opposite. It’s embarrassing and sad and pathetic in many ways. That’s not to lay a blanket over all of the politicians in this state. The good ones, they know who they are. The people who are getting pissed hearing me say this, they know why. We’ve turned into the butt of the joke in a lot of circles. That’s embarrassing and sad.
Have you had any contact with operatives about a run?
I have actually talked to quite a few people, yes.
Do they think there is traction for this candidacy?
I think some do, sure. Just take solace for the fact that I wouldn’t hire Gerry Callahan as my campaign manager.
People have long held the belief that this is something that I crave. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The fight is against the establishment. The status quo sucks. The status quo is not working. This country is a mess. I really don’t enjoy talking in broad generalities, but there’s so much wrong, and so much going on, that we are in desperate need of new blood and people who can walk in and make change and not have connections and ties to the old guard, and the old school, and be beholden to them. The state and the people deserve better.
If anyone says you’re not a serious candidate, you can just cite Al Franken.
Exactly. That should give hope to anybody. It really should.
When will you make a decision and what will it be based on?
I don’t know. I don’t know. It will be based on a lot of things. There’s a lot of process that has to happen from a timing standpoint. There has to be some things done by specific dates. I’m not sure of all the rules and regulations because I haven’t looked into them. We’ll think through it and when the time comes to talk about it, we’ll do that as well. Obviously it will have to be in relatively short order.
What about coming back to pitch for an NL team or the Red Sox?
Not so much. I’m feeling David Wells-esque.
It hasn’t hurt Brad Penny, who threw eight shutout innings against the Phillies in his first game with the Giants.
I’m thinking what I’ve always known. The American League is a lot harder than the National League. Always has been. It’s a huge disparity. Huge. It really is.
You look at our lineup, when you’ve got Martinez in the lineup, what are you saying if you’re the pitcher?
If Gonzalez is struggling, I’ve got maybe an out, hopefully, at the bottom of the lineup. But otherwise you’ve got eight guys that are .300, 20 homer guys. You look at the bottom third of the lineup. You literally have a breather for an inning to an inning and a half every time through the lineup (in the National League). That’s three, four, five outs a time. Those lineups do not exist even on the worst teams in the American League. It’s totally different.
If the Sox are in the playoffs, would Beckett or Lester be Game 1 starter? Would Francona give the ball to Beckett because he’s a bigger diva than Lester?
I can tell you that diva has nothing to do with October rotation and how you line it up.
Sure it does. You’re saying Franona didn’t consider Pedro’s pride in 2004?
No. I got the ball in Game 1 because he felt that I gave us the best chance to win, I think. I think he’d do the same thing here. When the calendar turns, and October comes around, you can scoff at it, smirk at it and mock it all you want, but people change. And Josh changes. It’s going to be hard to convince you otherwise, but what he did last October with the physical situation that he was presented with and in, is about as amazing as his shutout in Game 6 of the World Series in ’03. He is a guy whose game raises up a notch. I would argue that if you plan on getting to the playoffs, which I think they do, you’re going to have a different Josh Beckett than you have now and between the end of the season anyway. He’s struggling right now. Here’s the thing to hold onto with Josh. He’s struggling right now, and he’s giving up the long ball. And he’s struggling a little bit with the home run. But he’s not walking people. He’s been incredibly wild in the strike zone.
Would he be better off walking some people?
Yes, he would. He wouldn’t as long as he wasn’t giving up some home runs. He’s wild in the strike zone right now. You would prefer it didn’t go three, four starts in a row. And generally it shouldn’t. But it happens. The fact of the matter is that he’s wild in the strike zone, and that can correct itself in literally an inning or in a game. Obviously, you’re still waiting for it and want to see it. For them to make the playoffs, it will and has to change, and I think it will. You’ll have that ace guy going into October.