Does Tommy Tuberville Have a Chance To Be Governor of Alabama?
Tommy Tuberville may be running for governor. photo: al.com
If you live in the state of Alabama, you know by now there may be a new name entering politics in the next few weeks. In the last few hours, multiple news outlets have reported that former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville is considering running for governor.
Since taking the Texas Tech job in 2010 Tuberville has maintained a residence at Lake Martin and has spent his summers there. He moved back full time after being released from Cincinnati and recently started writing a column for Auburn Undercover. It was 247Sports that broke the news of his political aspirations.
First reaction by many is could an Auburn coach, especially one that holds a six-game Iron Bowl winning streak, have a chance at getting support from Bama fans? While some may never get beyond that, I believe the majority could put that aside when it comes to what may be best for the state. At any rate, it would be unwise to sell the electorate short just as it would be unwise to sell Tommy Tuberville’s chances short.
That’s why he has a lot of political operatives and movers and shakers trying to convince him it would be a sound move. A poll of 50,000 voters is currently being conducted to test the waters before he takes a leap.
Some would say that he doesn’t have any political experience. Well, neither did a former actor from California, a community organizer from Chicago, and a New York businessman, all three of whom ultimately became president of the United States.
There are several reasons why it could be a good move for the former coach, should he decide to throw his hat in the ring. For one thing he knows people from one end of the state to the other, and it has often been said that 70 to 80 percent of a candidate’s chances is name recognition—he certainly has that.
In addition there’s little question that Tommy knows how to work a crowd. And he may have been one of the most accessible coaches to ever work in this state. I spoke with him once at the Peach Bowl, and he treated this writer like he had known me for years. That kind of charisma is invaluable in the political arena.
But probably his most important trait is that Tommy loves Alabama. He raised his family here, went to church here, worked here, and made friends here. In short he became an Alabamian. He recently wrote in his Tuesday column that, “It became a special place for us. … Coming back recently to Auburn, I discovered it’s like I never left.” While there’s little doubt that line is sincere, it also could be a harbinger of what we may be hearing from the next candidate for Governor of Alabama.