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Senator Carl Edwards.
That title sounds farfetched, doesn’t it? But the recently-retired Edwards didn’t issue an outright denial of the possibility to the Associated Press on Wednesday when asked about a potential political endeavor.
The topic was broached by a political science professor at Columbia College — in Edwards’ hometown of Columbia, Missouri — who writes a column for the NPR affiliate in the city. In the final graph of Smith’s column, it said this.
One more unrelated thing, and remember where you heard this first. Carl Edwards, the recently-retired NASCAR driver and hometown hero, will run against Claire McCaskill for the Senate seat in 2018.
McCaskill is a two-term Democrat in a state that has trended more conservative in recent years. As you can see, there was no indication if Edwards, 37, would run against McCaskill in the Democratic primary or as a potential opponent in the Nov. 2018 general election as a Republican or independent candidate.
When asked by the AP about Smith’s report, Edwards had this to say.
Edwards didn’t exactly rule it out when reached by The Associated Press. He texted: “I believe firmly in the principles that the U.S. was founded upon. If I could help, I definitely would consider it.”
Edwards also stressed that has no such plans at the moment, but also quoted Gen. Douglas MacArthur: “No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”
The beauty of the MacArthur quote, as Edwards undoubtedly knows, is that it resonates and doesn’t immediately align Edwards with either major political party. You can read that Edwards is a Republican from that comment just as easily as you can that he’s a Democrat. But Edwards’ political proclivities would obviously have to become quite public if he runs for office.
The 28-time winner in the Cup Series abruptly retired from the sport in January, saying he wanted to pursue other interests. Edwards finished fourth in the 2016 standings after he crashed while leading the championship race late. He said when discussing his retirement that he was satisfied with his career and even then, two weeks ago, the topic of politics came up.
At the time, Edwards’ comments were much like they were Wednesday. And while the specifics political future may be unclear, it does seem pretty clear that Edwards will be be politically active in one way or another.
“I’m not prepared right now to participate in any public office or anything, but I am very open to helping that cause and helping the cause of liberty and freedom and what it is that America is about,” he said Jan. 11.
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