Republicans Vying For Tim Tebow Endorsement

Republican candidates have reached out to Tim Tebow for an endorsement. Desperation?

With the Tim Tebow hype hitting a fever pitch in advance of Saturday night’s Bronc0s-Patrioits game, it appears that America’s favorite athlete (for the moment) is being courted by politicians:

Tim Tebow is already the hottest property in professional sports, and now Republican presidential candidates are lining up for the blessing of the Denver Broncos quarterback.

The “Mile High Messiah” told The Associated Press on Sunday that more than one of the GOP hopefuls has asked for his public support.

He declined their offers, and also wouldn’t tell the AP which candidates had reached out to him for an endorsement.

“I think you have to have so much trust in who you support, just from product endorsements to endorsing a candidate,” Tebow said, “because if that person or company does something [bad], it reflects on you.”

Tebow isn’t saying who he’s heard from among the Republican candidates, but his name has been dropped by nearly every candidate ever since the “Tebow phenomenon” became a thing earlier this season:

During a Dec. 15 debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Texas Gov. Rick Perry noted that many experts ”said Tim Tebow wasn’t going to be a very good NFL Quarterback. … And he won two national championships, and that looked pretty good. We were the national champions in job creation back in Texas. And so, am I ready for the next level? Let me tell you, I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses

Perry may have lifted the idea of invoking Tebow’s name from a video tribute, produced by an unnamed supporter of former candidate Michele Bachmann, which appeared online just four days earlier.

Tebow, the video’s narrator said, “doesn’t drink, smoke, cuss, or even kick his opponents when they’re on the ground. He has no baggage, and — oh, yeah — he’s a born-again Christian. Well, the same can be said of Michele Bachmann. … Like Tebow, she keeps fighting and she just keeps winning votes.”

(…)

Reacting to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s decisive victory in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary election, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette told reporters during a conference call on Wednesday that “it was Tebow time last Sunday and Romney time last night.” Schuette chairs Romney’s Michigan campaign.

In a Jan. 3 essay, a member of the faculty at Georgia’s LaGrange College drew a similar comparison between former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and the NFL star. “Santorum’s chances for winning the nomination are lean, to put it kindly,” wrote political science professor John Tures. “But so were Tebow’s chances of leading the hapless Broncos to the playoffs, right?”

Reporters drew connections between Tebow and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on Dec. 31 after Gingrich told Iowans, “I pray before virtually every speech and virtually every major decision.”

And on Monday the Daily Paul website, which is operated by supporters of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, published the musings of a Paul supporter who wrote, “Imagine if Tim Tebow endorsed Ron Paul … I don’t think it will happen, but I can daydream cant I?!”

On some level, it’s kind of silly for politicians to be courting a rookie Quarterback for an endorsement, but Tebow has become something of a cultural phenomenon, embraced by the conservative community for his religious faith. In fact, it seems that anyone who questions Tebow at this point is accused of doing so because of his faith, not because he’s just a rookie who has been, at best inconsistent this year. After all, what can you really say about a player who pulled off an impressive victory over Pittsburgh one week after being held to a single field goal by the Kansas City Chiefs? Greatest Quarterback ever? Certainly not. More importantly, given how politicized and saturated in the rhetoric of the culture wars our nation has become, can’t we at least leave it out of sports?

In any event, much like the culture war that some of chosen to erect around him, it strikes me as kind of unfair to Tebow to turn him into a political symbol. After all, does anyone really believe that Rick Perry’s flailing campaign would suddenly be revived by a Tebow endorsement, or that Newt Gingirch would suddenly not be a total jerk just because he got the Tim Tebow stamp of approval? I’m doubtful of the value of the endorsements to begin with, an endorsement from a sports figure seems worth even less.

On a final note, since we’re talking about Tebow, it seems appropriate to share this piece from Jimmy Fallon’s show last night, which may be one of the best song parodies I’ve seen in a long time:

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Sports, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hey Norm says:

    While I personally think religion is the biggest scam ever played on the human race…I have nothing against religious people and in fact dated a very attractive Seminary Student for a while…But those who insist on wearing it on their sleeve….like Tebow…annoy the fu** out of me.
    As St. Thomas of Assissi is mistakenly quoted as saying:

    Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary use words.

    Perhaps some day Tebow will learn that…as well as how to check down his reads.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    That is the funniest thing I have seen all year! Of course, the year is not yet 2 weeks old…

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “I think you have to have so much trust in who you support, just from product endorsements to endorsing a candidate,” Tebow said, “because if that person or company does something [bad], it reflects on you.”

    Translation: The bidding starts at a million, fools.”

  4. DRS says:

    Okay, so how does this work? Let’s say Tebow endorses Gingrich (just to pick one name out of the hat) and in their very next game the Broncos get stomped into the ground so hard they have to bring in mining equipment to extricate them. Does that mean Gingrich’s numbers will decline even further?

    Another question: what exactly would Tebow be endorsing a candidate for? Presumably any young man his age could endorse any candidate so what would make him special? What could he say: “Good arm! Good running!” ?

    It’s not like he’s the 13th apostle or anything so it can’t be the God thing, can it? (/sarcasm)

  5. or even kick his opponents when they’re on the ground.

    Nor does anyone else in the NFL. The implication that Tebow, thanks to Jebus, is the only one who isn’t routinely personal fouling other players is the sort of sanctimonious crap that’s make so many people not like him.

  6. Rob in CT says:

    Oh for the love of Pete.

  7. Jeremy says:

    The idea that an omnipotent deity would spend time trying to help one guy win a football game, I think, denigrates the entire religion. “Deliver us from evil, and losses in overtime, which count as evil.” Seriously?

    And sports really do need to be protected from politics. They’re the escape valve, and they get clogged with politics, then we really have no place to turn to save ourselves.

  8. murray says:

    Will Tim Tebow be this cycle’s “Joe the Plumber”? I can’t wait to see the GOP candidates drop to their knees every time they score a point in the next “debate”.

  9. James in LA says:

    I was never a Patriots fan until this weekend. Tom Brady makes an unlikely target for the beseeching, but here we are. Tom, please end this. We’re dyyyyyyyin out here!

  10. Dave Lucas says:

    I continue to be impressed with Tim Tebow and the contribution he is making as an athlete and role-model!
    http://dave-lucas.blogspot.com/2012/01/tebow-time.html

  11. Herb says:

    Greatest Quarterback ever? Certainly not.

    Well, that’s true…he is no Elway. (Heh-heh-heh!)

    I don’t think any endorsement will be forthcoming though, not even in the off-season. He works for the NFL now. While I don’t think they will go so far as banning Tebow from making an endorsement, I do think they would strongly discourage it, keep him distracted with food drives and hospital visits. The NFL is a business that exists as a charity on paper. They don’t want to get too political lest they endanger their broad appeal or the flow of money.

    Go Broncos!

  12. Tillman says:

    After all, does anyone really believe that Rick Perry’s flailing campaign would suddenly be revived by a Tebow endorsement, or that Newt Gingirch would suddenly not be a total jerk just because he got the Tim Tebow stamp of approval?

    Uhh, I do? C’mon, you can’t tell me with a straight face that a Perry/Tebow ticket wouldn’t rock your socks off, before you voted for a third party out of desperation.

  13. Franklin says:

    Why would Tebow, who seems to think Jesus was a pretty swell guy, be a Republican?

    (aw, c’mon, folks, I’m just trolling today ..)

  14. Moosebreath says:

    Rob in CT,

    “Oh for the love of Pete.”

    What’s Mr. Rozelle got to do with this?

  15. Septimius says:

    First of all, Tebow is not a rookie. He actually started 3 games for the Broncos last season. And, if he’s been embraced by the conservative community because of his religious faith, he’s been equally despised by the liberal community for the same. Were you not paying attention when all of the “women’s” groups tried to get CBS to pull the Tebow Super Bowl ad a couple of years ago?

  16. MBunge says:

    @Hey Norm: “But those who insist on wearing it on their sleeve….like Tebow…annoy the fu** out of me.”

    I honest to goodness don’t understand the vehemence of this reaction from people. All Tebow does is mention the name Jesus Christ, publicly pray on the sideline and he did a TV commercial that people lost their shit over before it even aired and turned out to be about as benign and inoffensive as an ad for toothpaste. He doesn’t preach or pontificate or proselytize and I’ve never heard him condemn or criticize anyone for their beliefs. Yet folks who would shrug their shoulders at any celebrity yammering on about this or that political issue react to God talk like someone shoved a hot poker up their ass.

    Mike

  17. Tillman says:

    @MBunge: It has something to do with that phrase in Matthew about people who pray in public only doing so to show off their holiness, I think.

  18. @Tillman:

    Yes, at some point you begin to wonder if Tebow has stopped trying to spread the glory of Christ and started spreading the glory of himself.

  19. Ernieyeball says:

    @Tillman: That would be Matthew 5: v5 and v6

    Here is Young’s Literal Translation:

    5And when thou mayest pray, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites, because they love in the synagogues, and in the corners of the broad places — standing — to pray, that they may be seen of men; verily I say to you, that they have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou mayest pray, go into thy chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who is seeing in secret, shall reward thee manifestly.

    broad places=gridiron?

  20. An Interested Party says:

    It is not so much Tebow’s faith that causes him to be mocked as it is his extremely conspicuous display of his faith…it’s ironic that so many of those who are praising him for his faith would be scorning him if he were such a conspicuous Muslim or atheist…