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Matthew McConaughey Decides Against Running for Texas Governor “At This Moment”

Now we can move on to more pressing matters.

Matthew McConaughey talks about not running for governor and politics. (Image: screepcap.)

In November 2020, during the press tour for his memoir Greenlights, Academy award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey publicly floated the idea of going into Texas politics. In March 2021 (after the freeze that resulted in power outages across Texas), McConaughy confirmed he was “seriously considering” a bid for the governorship. Now, two weeks before the application to run is due, McConaughey has announced on Twitter and YouTube that he won’t be running in the 2022 Texas gubernatorial race against two-term incumbent Greg Abbott.

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While his YouTube channel comments were turned off, Twitter left retweets and replies open for people to react, make jokes, and share. These were some of the nicer ones:

Then, there is this A+ tweet for a reference to his 2006 romantic comedy costarring Sarah Jessica Parker. Technically, this wasn’t a failure, but it still made us laugh.

McConaughey did acknowledge the good politicians (not by name, of course) but still had an air of bootstrap-ism that soured the tone. He also stated that he believes in investing in businesses that promote prosperity, not mentioning the other barriers like race, ethnicity, gender, etc., that are inhibitors to prosperity on an interpersonal and systemic level.

He played y’all

This felt like a year-long stunt to get book sales for his memoir.

Is personal reflection a part of the memoir? Yes, but this media circus around “will he” or “won’t he” has been exhausting, and McConaughey shares just as much blame. Before getting “into politics” (I hate that phrase, but it works), any voting adult knows the fanfare involved. (Especially after the last TV reality star with no political experience ran the country for four years.)

As a civically engaged Texas resident, I get weekly news roundups at a regional and state level. At least once a month since his original tease to run as an independent, publications have polled how McConaughey would fare against Republican incumbent Greg Abbott and/or recently announced high-profile Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke.

Another reason this felt like a stunt was because he went for the top position. While McConaughey is involved with politics to a degree (regarding his college sports investments), he could’ve run for something else, between the city council and Texas Legislature.

With the Texas Legislature, McConaughey would only be legally obligated to work for a few months every two years (unless Abbott has a list of demands.) Sprinkle in a few more months, if you count running for office and engaging with constituents between sessions. He could’ve continued his many, many other public interests in a lower, less time-consuming position.

McConaughey probably did end up reflecting, though

On Twitter, some people speculated (and joked) that the books behind McConaughey in his video were Anne of Green Gables, because they didn’t match the monochrome nature of Greenlights. A month ago, on his YouTube channel, he announced a new edition of his memoir. It would be a stretch to call this timing related to his book, but it was more so probably because he was tired of people asking, made up his mind, and needed to get ahead of it considering the approaching application deadline.

His roughly three-minute speech falls somewhere between saying a whole lot of nothing, and maybe some truth? It is his style for sure and often works in favor of his charisma, but it reads as concerning when placed on something so important, like the decision to be a public servant. His words (for the most part) appeal to moderate politics, but moderate politics don’t address the urgency of our country’s many decades-old (and centuries-old) issues. He also wants to return to a moderate center to bridge divides, as if the blame for problems in our country is equal to share among everyone.

But maybe the most telling thing is that McConaughey starts off the video saying that politics was one of the avenues he was considering in his journey, and then ends on the decision to financially support business that he believes are “leaders” and “creating pathways for people to succeed.”

He continues, talking about “organizations that have a mission to serve and build trust while also generating prosperity.” After about a year of contemplation, he recognized money is one of the biggest movers in politics.

(via Twitter, image: screencap)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.

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