Preposterous Universe

Sunday, July 18, 2004
Squelching vicious rumors

Like Daniel Drezner, I find it necessary to put to rest those unfounded speculations that I will soon be drafted to run as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate from Illinois. Now, even on the face of it there are certain manifest obstacles that would have to be overcome. It is true, for example, that I have occasionally implied a favorable attitude towards gay marriage, questioned the existence of God, argued against building a missile defense system, poked fun at the President (also here, here, here, here, here ... well, you get the point), and even said nice things about the Big Bang. I've also been known to consort with the enemy. Oh yes, and I've promised never to run for office. (Now that I think about it, anyone with a blog and a less-than-perfect amount of self-control would have a hard time not leaving such an inflammatory trail of comments that they would be instantly disqualified from any future political career.)

But I'm a believer in a strong two-party system, and the GOP in my adopted home state is kind of on the ropes these days. Democratic nominee Barack Obama has seen all of his opponents implode, has just been tapped to give the keynote address at the Democratic national convention, and is generally being given rock-star treatment by the national media. Attempts by Republicans to inject some celebrity star power of their own have fizzled, and are now becoming increasingly desperate. And, you know, I am well-educated, gainfully employed, and a practiced public speaker. They could do worse (and seem to be trying to).

Alas, it's not to be. As much as I would love to set an exciting precedent by entering the campaign as a Republican running to the left of his Democratic opponent, I feel too strong a sense of obligation to my students and colleagues here at the University of Chicago, who frankly would be lost without me.

But if Bush does decide to dump Cheney, he has my number.

Ideas on culture, science, politics.
Sean Carroll

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