Heath Shuler Endorses Clinton

Always the master of timing, Democratic superdelegate Heath Shuler announced that he would support Hillary Clinton the morning after her poor showing in North Carolina convinced just about everyone that she was toast. This is especially interesting given that the first-term congressman represents North Carolina.

Don Frederick describes the play thusly:

A cynic might note that in announcing his support for Clinton, Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina was aping his ill-fated pro football career — joining the roster of a losing team.

But after washing out as a QB from the mid-to-late ’90s with the Washington Redskins, the New Orleans Saints and the Oakland Raiders, Shuler succeeded as a politician by making clear to the constituents of the western tip of the Tar Heel state that although he was a Democrat, he shared their moderate-to-conservative opinions on most issues. That enabled him, in the 2006, to knock off an eight-term Republican incumbent.

In endorsing Clinton, Shuler was hewing to the views of those who sent him to Washington. Although Clinton lost North Carolina to Obama by 14 percentage point, the results in Shuler’s district were almost exactly the reverse: She won it by 13 points.

Actually, this is a perfectly sensible move on his part under those circumstances. It’s still funny, though.

Howard Mortman, who agonized through Shuler’s Redskins days, isn’t the least bit surprised.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Uncategorized, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. sam says:

    “Wadaya mean 46Blackjackon5 is not a double reverse???”

  2. Christopher says:

    I hear the guy makes interesting movies, anyway.

  3. Raider51 says:

    He played for the Raiders?

  4. Eneils Bailey says:

    Heath Shuler…

    I see he is no more adept at politics than he was at college or professional football….


  5. Eneils Bailey says:

    “He played for the Raiders?”

    No, he just showed up and collected a check until Al Davis got rid of his ass.

  6. Eneils Bailey says:

    “and in 2004 ESPN rated him the 17th biggest ‘sports flop’ of the past 25 years.[1] In 2008, ESPN rated him the 4th biggest NFL Draft bust of all time.[2]”

    He seems to be continuing the legacy.

    I don’t think I would put Shuler’s name on the top of the list of the deposit ticket I would use for endorsements down at the bank of politics. He’s OK, but so is Jed, his uncle who runs the local radiator repair shop.

  7. rezzrovv says:

    Heath Shuler… not smart enough to be an NFL Quarterback… but smart enough to be my congressman.

  8. DL says:

    For Hillary huh? It looks to me like the political version of the old “hidden ball” play.