As most of us know by now, one-time Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville has his sights set on being elected one of Alabama’s two U.S. senators this November. He recently defeated former senator Jeff Sessions and runs against incumbent Democrat Doug Jones in November.
At this point most polls say he is favored to win.
That is if he can keep his foot out of his mouth long enough. And that is debatable.
His latest snafu was telling a talk radio host that he is opposed to extending the federal unemployment benefit that those who lost jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis have been getting.
This brought immediate response from those who remember when Tuberville walked off the job at Auburn, even though he still had a contract to be honored. And Auburn gave him $5 million. Even though he quit. Even though he did not honor his contract.
And when a guy who engineered such a sweetheart deal for himself has heartburn about folks getting unemployment benefits, you have to wonder if he is really in touch with the real world. For an excellent look at all of this, see this article by Kyle Whitmire of AL.com.
Tuberville coached 10 years at Auburn. He won 85 games and lost 40. His teams played the University of Alabama 10 times and won seven of them. I was in the stands at Jordan-Hare on many of the Saturdays Tuberville roamed the sidelines.
No doubt he is “smooth. Very personable, Tuberville can work a room better than most. But like most major college football coaches, he is a hired gun. His loyalty is for sale.
He coached at Ole Miss four seasons. Rumors were rampant in 1998 that he was going to Auburn. He told sports writers, “They’ll have to carry me out of here in a pine box.” He was gone two days later. No one could find a pine box.
After Auburn, Tuberville became head coach at Texas Tech and stayed for three years. The story is that in December, 2012 he was having dinner with some football recruits and left the table. And never came back. The next day he was named the head coach at Cincinnati.
Tuberville left Cincinnati in 2016 and announced that he was heading to the “blue waters and white sands” of Santa Rosa Beach, FL. He voted there in 2018.
Personally I like Tommy. He is good company and easy to talk to. But what is underneath? What are his core values? Sure, he now says he loves Alabama. But he also loved Oxford, MS, Lubbock, TX and Cincinnati, OH.
Especially at this point in time, with this country so fractured and divided, when we are battling a health crises that cries for committed leadership, we desperately need people in Washington of substance, people who are committed to others more than to themselves. I don’t see that in Tommy Tuberville.