Matthew McConaughey’s somewhat unsurprising and anti-climactic announcement Monday that he would not run for governor of Texas in 2022 was primarily because the Oscar-winning actor "stood for nothing," according to a student well acquainted with Lone Star State politics.
"Virtually no one in Texas knows where McConaughey stood on any major issue of concern to Texans," scholar Wayne Thorburn, whose books "The Republican Party of Texas" and "Red State" are considered must-reads in terms of the political evolution of Texas, told Newsmax.
Thorburn’s analysis was born from a collection of statements about politics assembled by National Public Radio that come from Uvalde, Texas, natives and Austin residents. Those statements range from "we have some problems we need to fix," to "our politics need more purpose," "we need more trust in our lives," "our children are our greatest asset," "freedom comes with responsibility," and "great leaders serve."
Many of those urging McConaughey to leave the world of motion pictures to run for governor noted that, at 52, he was about the same age as Ronald Reagan (55) when he left show business to run for governor of California in 1966. But Thorburn contrasted McConaughey’s lack of any stated policy positions with that of Reagan’s personal background as campaigner and conservative.
"Before he sought the office of governor, Reagan had been involved in political campaigns, was a known conservative who was widely read in conservative principles, and had experience as leader of his labor union," Thorburn noted. "In no respect was he a novice to public affairs."
It is possibly because McConaughey appeared to have no political positions — and indeed, never said whether he would run as Democrat, Republican, or independent — that the White House never made any move to convince him to run for governor as a Democrat.
On Oct. 14, when several polls showed McConaughey (as a Democrat) defeating Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, Newsmax asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki whether the president was following the race for governor of Texas and "has he called Matthew McConaughey and urged him to run for governor?"
Psaki replied: "I can confirm there have been no calls to Matthew McConaughey from this office that I am aware of or tracking."
McConaughey’s announcement almost guarantees that the Democrat nominee for governor will be Beto O'Rourke.
"Being a beloved and respected actor is not a sufficient qualification to be a serious candidate for governor," said Thorburn. "Apparently McConaughey reached that conclusion also."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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