- Before officially ruling out a run for Texas governor, Matthew McConaughey doubted his ability to do the job.
- The New York Times Magazine asked if he was only flirting with it to make his life “as big as possible.”
- “But as the CEO of the state or a nation, you have to administrate,” the actor responded.
Shortly before he officially announced he would not jump into the 2022 Texas governor’s race, Matthew McConaughey expressed doubts about his ability to be a good politician in a lengthy interview with David Marchese of The New York Times Magazine.
“Going back to this idea of making your life your art, is it possible that your dance around running for governor was motivated, maybe even subconsciously, by the desire for the story of your life to be as big as possible?” Marchese asked, adding that he didn’t think McConaughey would end up running.
“What can you do and what can you not do?” McConaughey replied.
“Do my gifts fit into being effective as a politician? Good question,” he continued. “Because I’m not historically a politico. I’m a folk-singing philosopher-poet who has a gift for storytelling, inspiration. But as the C.E.O. of the state or a nation, you have to administrate. You have to set up laws. We like to think we could handle freedom. We’re not that evolved.”
Earlier this month, Democrat Beto O’Rourke announced he’s running for Texas governor. Incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is favored to win reelection in the red state. But recent polling showed McConaughey with more support than Abbott in a general election.
At another point in his Times Magazine interview, McConaughey alluded to running for office as a form of sacrifice.
“Am I dipping into the spiritual realm and the infinite game of life? Damn right I am,” he said. “But religious, spiritual, whatever, we all know what I’m talking about. I’m just saying, if we could understand the value of certain sacrifices — and I’m not a puritanical hoity-toity guy. I love having fun, man. I love a Saturday night.”
Marchese was unable to ask an immediate followup before McConaughey cut him off with a tangent about the nature of government and capitalism.
“Now, the other side is, governments are there to provide a path,” McConaughey said. “A lot of us go, There was no path so I’m going to go get mine however I can. Is there a way to make money and still fill our soul’s account as well as our bank account? Can businesses be the great platform for change? Now more than ever! You can’t go, I’m against all hierarchies, I’m against all big business. Can they do business better? Yes. At the same time we’re a capitalist nation, and I’m for it.”
Finally able to get a word in, Marchese tried to drill down into whether McConaughey was ever truly interested in running for office in the first place.
“So to answer your question, it would be untrue for me to go ‘I’m not’ until I say I’m not,” McConaughey said. “But maybe instead of politics I’m best suited to continue to inspire people through my actions as a man, as a dad, as a performer, by what businesses I invest in.”
In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday night, the Oscar Award-winning actor finally put an end to months of publicly flirting with a gubernatorial bid.
“As a simple kid born in the little town of Uvalde, Texas, it never occurred to me that I would one day be considered for political leadership. It’s a humbling and inspiring path to ponder,” he said. “It is also a path that I am choosing not to take at this moment.”