Maybe the wacky conservative ex-Phillies' pitcher seat in the U.S. Senate won't go vacant after all


The Senate seat that's now up for grabs in Massachusetts, with a special election set for Jan. 19, is called "the Kennedy seat," and with good reason: Since 1952, or for 57 years, the seat has been occupied by only three people: John F. Kennedy; the brief appointment of JFK's college roommate (seriously); and then Ted Kennedy, and in fact a possible frontrunner for the job is Ted Kennedy's nephew, ex-U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy.

That's interesting, but what about "the slightly loony, right-wing former-pitcher-for-the-Philadelphia-Phillies seat"? That's been a D.C. tradition ever since 1998 when Kentucky voters, in their infinite wisdom, promoted then-Rep. Jim Bunning to the senior circuit in Congress. Bunning pitched a legendary perfect game on Father's Day for the Phillies as the ace of their staff in 1964, but his Senate career has been, um, less than perfect. In some Mark Sanford foreshadowing, he once disappeared from the job for a week, he seemed a tad enthusisatic in prematurely predicting the death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Time magazine, in calling Bunning one of our five worst senators (no small achievement!), said the Hall of Famer "shows little interest in policy unless it involves baseball." Recently, Bunning announced he won't run for a third term in 2010 -- which was a blow to Attytood, since it would have deprived me of the ability to blog about right-wing looniness and the Phillies in the same post, saving considerable time.

But now warming up in the bullpen, No. 38, Curt Schilling!

BOSTON - Curt Schilling, the former major league pitcher who won the allegiance of Bostonians by leading the Red Sox to the 2004 World Series, said Wednesday that he has "some interest" in running for the seat held for nearly 50 years by Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Schilling, a registered independent and longtime Republican supporter, wrote on his blog that while his family and video game company, 38 Studios, are high priorities, "I do have some interest in the possibility."

"That being said, to get to there, from where I am today, many, many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen," he added.

Schilling seems too perfect of a fit for the U.S. Senate, although he'd actually have to shrink his ego a tad for the job, and while 19th-Century Republicans held onto their power on Capitol Hill by "waving the bloody shirt," Schilling could continue to wave the bloody sock. Maybe if he were in the Senate, he could cover his face with a towel every time that his "teammate" Mitch -- this time McConnell, not Williams -- stepped forward. There's only one flaw with this plan, and that is that Schilling would have to win as a Republican in the ultimate lefty state of Massachusetts. But the start of an election season, just like spring training, is always a time for impossible dreams.