When this topic came up for discussion at the weekly Point-Counterpoint board meeting at Don Shula's Steakhouse in Chicago (on the BH, of course), it was the first time on record that no research or thought was required on my part.
Only one politician who has ever been a sports star has been undoubtedly, unquestionably the best star in his athletic undertaking.
That one person is, of course, "The Governator," who was not only a seven-time Mr. Olympia champion (the most prestigious bodybuilding contest in the world), but was also the world's greatest action star, shining brighter than the sun on Mercury.
That alone gives Arnold a heads up over Bill Bradley, Tom Osbourne and Steve Largent, who are all Hall of Famers, but were never the best in their sport, except maybe for Osbourne, who was a coach and loses some serious credibility points there.
How many other politicians do you know who commonly double-fisted assault rifles in their previous careers? And before you try to answer Jessie Ventura, remember that while he doubled up on folding chairs in the WWF and doubled up with a shotgun and pistol combo in "Predator," he never actually managed to wield dos (shout out to Chad Johnson there) assault rifles.
As I wrote in my Oct. 11 column, Arnold would even be a perfect choice as the commander in chief:
"Arnold could succeed as president too. He could be the first leader of the executive branch in decades to truly bring together the GOP and Democrats, using his relationship with wife Maria Shriver to help bridge gaps that no other person possibly could. Plus, he would have the single greatest re-election campaign slogan ever: 'I'll be back.'
And you want to talk about foreign policy? The new policy would be sending a copy of 'Commando' and 'Twins' to every country in the world. If you are naughty you get the 'Commando' Arnold. If you're nice you get the 'Twins' Arnold. Which would you choose?"
NBA legend Charles Barkley is not a politician just yet, but he soon will be, and when he becomes the governor of Alabama in 2014, he will be the best sports politician.
The "Round Mound of Rebound" may be outspoken and controversial (remember his "I am not a role model" commercials?), but he's just what American politics needs: A breath of fresh air.
While many may think the 1993 MVP running for any government position is a joke — especially after recently switching from a possible GOP candidate to a Democrat — Barkley is dead serious and wants to make a difference.
"I've got to get people to realize that the government is full of it," Barkley said in a Southern Regional Conference of the National School Boards Association meeting last July. "Republicans and Democrats want to argue over stuff that's not important … when I run — if I run — we're going to talk about real issues like improving our schools, cleaning up our neighborhoods of drugs and crime and making Alabama a better place for all people."
In political races, a lot is made of what candidates have given to their country. While Barkley was never a war veteran or anything like that, he was an American hero in his day, winning two gold medals in 1992 and 1996. Honestly, who wouldn't want a member of the original Dream Team in office?
Furthermore, his classy and sophisticated nickname of "Sir Charles" is worthy alone of a governmental position. Hey, if Jesse "The Body" Ventura can make it as governor, Barkley can do an even better job.
The Hall of Famer was one of the best basketball players, and once he becomes the governor of Alabama, he will be the best sports politician ever.