How many people find themselves watching ESPN and thinking that they wished the overcaffeinated gentleman making little sense was their representative in Congress? More to the point, how many people in Florida's 24th District feel that way? We may find out in November 2010 if Lou Holtz's rumored run for the seat currently held by Democrat Suzanne Kosmas comes to fruition.
The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the former Notre Dame head coach and current ESPN analyst is weighing a run, and quotes a Republican consultant saying that the race would be "all but over" if he threw his headset in the ring. That's obviously based on name recognition, but there are several other reasons why Holtz would be a political natural.
1. Notre Dame's Slide - The National Championship Holtz won in 1988 is a rare moment in glory during what's been a three-decade slide from superiority in South Bend. If he could raise the Irish, who have faltered under several other coaches in that time, what could he do for the country?
There's also the little matter of the football team's boosters, who may be looking to give their money to someone other than Charlie Weis over the next couple of years. Holtz charmed that group before, and if he charms them again there's really no way Kosmas or any other candidate could hang with his campaign financially.
2. Isn't Afraid to Quit - Holtz showed no qualms about telling fans and administrators at William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas and Minnesota that he was going to serve a full term before jumping at the first chance to take a better job. That's the kind of loyalty that makes Washington tick as well, and would serve him well when a job as Undersecretary for BCS Affairs opens up during his first term.
Added bonus: Holtz can also pull a Sarah Palin and quit when the job is harder than he thought he signed on for in the first place. He walked out on the Jets 13 games into his first and only season as a NFL coach, firm in the notion that it's better to be a big fish in the small college pond where you can recruit with money and personality and don't have to worry about much else.
3. Doesn't Mind Getting His Hands Dirty - Our history shows that the House of Representatives has never had a problem with men and women who bent the rules to get themselves elected or profited from their status. Schools coached by Holtz have a habit of heading into NCAA probation shortly after he leaves because of things that happened on his watch which should still make him a better choice than most for a seat on the Ethics committee.
4. Insincere - While at Notre Dame, Holtz's press conferences were notable for the way he'd build a weekly patsy like Rice into a terrifying monster that the Irish couldn't possibly find a way to beat on Saturday. Then he'd lead his team to a 50-10 victory and tell the media how he never felt certain of the outcome into the final minutes. Even in his ESPN gig, he's shown a facility for giving fake pep talks, a skill that should come in handy when he's making promises to voters that he has no intention of following through on once in office.