In Texas, you don't exactly have to have your ear to the ground to hear the longstanding rumors that Craig James — SMU great, talking head, businessman, overprotective father — is interested in adding "political candidate" to his resumé. True, his prospective run for the Senate in 2010 never materialized. And no, he still hasn't thrown his hat into a specific race for 2012. But if this isn't a man running for office, I'll eat my hat:
That video, along with a brief introduction from James, is part of his organization, Texans for a Better America, which launched its official website earlier this week. Its goals: To promote James and his values — The Constitution, Free Markets, American Exceptionalism — to connect with voters through social media and of course, to raise a little money. Texans for a Better America is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(4), which must be "operated exclusively to promote social welfare," and may lobby for legislation and participate in political campaigns and elections as long as that isn't the organization's primary purpose. (Though based on its current incarnation, it's not clear what other purpose Texans for a Better America could possibly have.) Donors can remain anonymous, as well.
The big question: What office is James targeting? The obvious answer is the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchinson, the same seat James reportedly had his eye on last year. Hutchinson never resigned as expected in her (ultimately failed) run for the governor's mansion in 2010, but has already announced that she won't be running for re-election in 2012. Meanwhile, Texas is also set to pick up four seats in the House of Representatives.
So if you're one of the millions who have watched James hoot after a big hit, collapse after a workout or use his position at ESPN to prosecute a personal grudge and thought "I'd like to send that man to Washington," your dream may soon come true.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.