Charles Barkley Alabama Governor Candidate

NBA Hall of Famer and TV sensation Charles Barkley is getting much attention for his pledge to run for governor of his home state of Alabama in 2014.

When asked if he was serious, the former Philadelphia 76er said, “I am, I can’t screw up Alabama.” He added that his native state could only improve. “We are number 48 in everything and Arkansas and Mississippi aren’t going anywhere,” Barkley said.

That’s funny, if not statistically accurate. It’s probably not going to win him a lot of votes in the Yellowhammer State, either. “THANK GOD FOR MISSISSIPPI” makes for a funny bumper sticker but it’s not a great campaign slogan.

It seems that he’s switched parties:

Barkley, who had once considered running for governor as a Republican in the 1990s but is now supporting Barack Obama for president, had choice words for his former party.   “Listen, John McCain, you gotta respect anybody who goes to war. But these Republicans who ran this economy into the ground,” he said. “We’ve got to end the war in Iraq and we got to stop giving rich people like myself and people who run big companies tax breaks. We’ve got to do that.”

He accused Republicans of using race as an issue in this year’s campaign by talking about terrorists and Muslims.”We’ve had eight terrible years under the Bush’s administration, with the war in Iraq,” he said. “I’ve said it from the beginning. The only way they can win this election is make it about race. That’s the only way they can win.”

Amusingly, this is the guy who allegedly had a conversation like this with his grandmother back in the day:  “How can you vote for the Republicans?  They’re just looking out for the rich people!”   “Grandma, I AM rich.”

While Barkley is an amusing character, he’s been talking about running for governor of Alabama for years — always putting the actual candidacy well into the future.  Indeed, it seems like only two years ago that Sir Charles was seriously considering running in 2010.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Anderson says:

    Shit, I *wish* he would move to Mississippi and run for governor here.

  2. Rick Almeida says:

    Please please please, God, let him debate Emmitt Smith.

  3. Drew says:

    The very fact that this might gain traction is a sad commentary on the state of American politics.

    My man MJ beat the crap out of “Bark” and his Sixers and Suns. But can we have a moment of clarity? He’s a basketball player !!!!!!

    Wait, come to think of it, that makes him jest about as qualified as Obama…..

    giggle

  4. tom p says:

    this just in from an interview with a young black man on NPR (you can find the link if you go to NPR and click on “St.Louis voters discuss struggles”:

    “My friends and I always said, there are 2 things a black man can never be: a white man and President of the United States. Well, Michael Jackson proved the first one wrong, and Barack Obama is proving the 2nd one wrong.” (or something like that)

    I found it funny as hell (and true as well), and didn’t know where else to post it.

  5. anjin-san says:

    But can we have a moment of clarity? He’s a basketball player !!!!!

    Hmmm. Reagan was an actor. Pretty fair President. Arnold was an actor. Better Governor than Grey Davis, career politician, for sure. But then they be white…

    Or are actors just smarter than basketball players?

  6. Davebo says:

    But can we have a moment of clarity? He’s a basketball player !!!!!

    Which puts him about 5 pegs up over a failed land man.

    But hell, we Texans elected him and the rest of the country did as well.

    If we ever see the Brown Mound as president we won’t be able to say he was the least qualified idiot our least qualified idiots ever voted for president.

  7. Davebo says:

    And it’s an interesting question.

    Should the ex president, ex failed land man decide to go back into the business with oil prices at $70.00 a barrel versus $11.00 dollars a barrel would he do any better?

    We’ll never know I guess. But I could guess.

  8. sam says:

    Charles Barkley: “I Was a Republican Until They Lost Their Minds

    I don’t think he’s been following the comments here on OTB, but you never know.

  9. Anderson says:

    My man MJ

    Where *is* Jordan these days? He should be out campaigning for Obama or something.

    Or has he gone Republican? Palin could sit on his shoulders to address her adoring crowds.

  10. G.A.Phillips says:

    Arnold was an actor.

    lol.

  11. Christopher says:

    I’m not sure who is more stupid: tom p or Barkley.

    You frigging liberals can have the idiot Barkley. And I doubt that he could win even dogcatcher.

  12. tom p says:

    I’m not sure who is more stupid: tom p or Barkley.

    Why me, of course, Chistopher! But thanx for noticing that I excel in something you seem to have a lock on!

  13. sam says:

    Did Christopher post, tom? I’ve written a little program that takes an OTB web page and if the comments include anything by Christopher, GA, or Zelsdorf, those comments are deleted, then the page displays. The page loads slower, of course, but it makes the whole OTB experience more enjoyable. I’m going to rewrite it to include Drew and Floyd, too. Bithead stays because, while he’s wrong most of the time, he at least has arguments and humor in his posts, and I like to read him.

  14. G.A.Phillips says:

    Did Christopher post, tom? I’ve written a little program that takes an OTB web page and if the comments include anything by Christopher, GA, or Zelsdorf, those comments are deleted, then the page displays. The page loads slower, of course, but it makes the whole OTB experience more enjoyable. I’m going to rewrite it to include Drew and Floyd, too. Bithead stays because, while he’s wrong most of the time, he at least has arguments and humor in his posts, and I like to read him.

    hey Tom P, can you ask sam if he can write one for me with your names on it, when you see him at the next cool-aid night at your BDS/PDS/ADS recovery meeting together. Thanks bro.

  15. tom p says:

    Will do GA, but I prefer not to do the same for you, every now and again you say something intelligent, and I would hate to miss that. I’ll bring it to the next ODS recovery meeting.

  16. Christopher says:

    G.A. Phillips, sam, tom p

    Wow, liberals that believe in the stifling of free speech, the censorship of others. Good! Good! The more you liberals act like the socialists/communists that you are, the more recognizable you are to others.

  17. Drew says:

    Arnold was an actor? I must have missed that. Shakespearian? And isn’t his state going bankrupt?

    And Charles? Well, his claim to fame is looking up and watching Michael soaring through the air and dunking on him. But you all have a point. That’s about as much experience as Obama has. So who knows?

  18. Eneils Bailey says:

    While Barkley is an amusing character,

    After the electorate considers that, his qualification for public office diminishes quite rapidly.

  19. anjin-san says:

    giggle

    Hmmm. You and bitsy should hook up. You can giggle together…

  20. tom p says:

    G.A. Phillips, sam, tom p

    Wow, liberals that believe in the stifling of free speech, the censorship of others. Good! Good! The more you liberals act like the socialists/communists that you are, the more recognizable you are to others.

    Christopher:

    I guess you need to reread my post. I specifically said that I like to read opposing points of view (like GA’s).

    As to GA… if you had ever read (should I say, “comprehend”?) any of his posts, you would have noticed he is of like mind to you.

    As to Sam… Sam can speak for himself, if he chooses to.

    In the meanwhile, instead of engaging in insult and innuendo, why don’t you try an actual argument (that means: “2 a: a reason given in proof or rebuttal b: discourse intended to persuade
    3 a: the act or process of arguing : argumentation b: a coherent series of statements leading from a premise to a conclusion”
    )?

    It is about ideas, Chistopher. Not Fox News talking points. You do have ideas, don’t you?

  21. sam says:

    As to Sam… Sam can speak for himself, if he chooses to.

    I lied about the program. And Christopher, if I had written such a program and deleted your comments, it would not be censorship of the kind you should fear. I mean, I’m pretty powerful, in a cuddly sort of way, but I ain’t the government.

    I was just trolling for a reaction from the OTB Tridumberate, GA, Zelsdorf, and you. Two out of three ain’t bad. Zels was probably off somewhere sorting his pocket lint collection. Too bad–I was hoping for some of his sputtering, too.