Charles Barkley, former NBA power forward and Basketball Analyst for TNT, is brashly outspoken on politics and recently turned his sharp tongue to his home state of Alabama, lamenting the treatment of blacks by the Democratic Party. And his brief airtime has the political grapevine whispering of a run for office. Barkley was home to campaign for Senate candidate Doug Jones, and his passionate remarks at a Birmingham rally sparked rumors of a potential run for office when he said, “At some point, we got to stop looking like idiots to the nation.” And maybe that assessment was the catalyst for the surge in black, Democratic voters that spurred Jones to victory. Barkley, also pulling double duty as CNN correspondent on election night (yeah, it’s been a weird year), was downright giddy about Jones’ squeaker of a victory:
“I’m so proud of my state. I love my state. We got some amazing people here,” the former 76er said. “Yeah, we got a bunch of rednecks and a bunch of ignorant people, but we got some amazing people here and they rose up today.”
And then he smacked the Democratic Party around:
“They’ve taken the black vote and the poor vote for granted for a long time,” Barkley said. “They’ve always had our votes, and they’ve abused our votes, and this is a wake-up call. We’re in a great position now, but this is a wake-up call for Democrats to do better for black people and poor white people.”
Republicans have been saying that all along, Mr. Barkley. Candidate Trump referenced the elitist Left when he asked black voters, “what have you got to lose” by voting for him, as the Democrats had done nothing but take the black vote for granted. The media lost their collective minds over his observation, but so far, Barkley’s statement hasn’t been dissected one whit.
Let’s ask the real question; can Charles Barkley win a national office? If he runs, he will have to pick a team and stick to it. Barkley was a card-carrying Republican “until they lost their minds” with George W. Bush. In 2007 he endorsed Obama but was a Kasich supporter in 2016. And in a rash moment of sheer craziness in 2008, declared his intent to run for governor in Alabama as an Independent as soon as he could reestablish residency. Perhaps in a moment of clear-headedness, and after inking a sweet deal with TNT, he saw the light. Regardless, Sir Charles has kept his hat out of the ring.
Barkley has the personality that attracts Americans; he is uncensored and calls them as he sees them. That’s the same trait that cannonballed Trump into the mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue. He demonstrates a considerable amount of common sense, and in a year of complete Snowflake hysteria, emerged as a voice of reason while hordes of leftists and their basement-dwelling legions attempted a history white-wash through statuary removal:
“I’m not going to waste my time worrying about these Confederate statues. I’m 54 years old. I’ve never thought about those statues a day in my life. I think if you ask most black people to be honest, they ain’t thought a day in their life about those stupid statues. What we as black people need to do: we need to worry about getting our education, we need to stop killing each other, we need to try to find a way to have more economic opportunity and things like that.”
Barkley is a man who is both full of himself and oddly full of humility about his accomplishments. During his heyday in the NBA, he said, “I’m not a role model,” as his contemporaries on the court seemed to embrace the concept. He is the guy anyone would want as a guest at their backyard cookout, bantering about sports, talking about their wives’ shopping sprees and their kids’ antics. Maybe a Barkley run for office would continue to keep the political parties on their toes, help drain the Swamp and give Steve Bannon a run for his king-making money. So yes, Sir Charles, let’s see what game you got on the national court. We have floor seats; bring it on.