The 2014 South Dakota Senate race has already been among the most fascinating in the nation, with a lot of national attention, machinations by multiple parties, hurt feelings and the potential for more to come.
Could it about to get a whole lot crazier?
In a throwaway moment on Adam Carolla’s podcast today, Sioux Falls native and longtime sports and entertainment broadcaster Pat O’Brien referred to an interest in entering politics.
"(University of South Dakota political science professor William Farber) always wanted me to run for office in South Dakota — which I still may do," O’Brien said, referring to his mentor at USD.
O’Brien, the former host of “Access Hollywood” and a longtime sportscaster, has previously identified as a “McGovern Democrat” and flirted with returning to South Dakota to run for office before.
Eric Ostermeier of Smart Politics notes that in 2003 O’Brien spoke about possibly challenging Mike Rounds for South Dakota governor in 2006. Now Rounds could be the GOP Senate nominee in 2014.
Of course, O’Brien brings with him his share of baggage. He’s had a high-profile battle with alcoholism that climaxed with “sexually graphic” voicemails placed while drunk — a gift from heaven for an opposition researcher.
O’Brien has been very frank about his battle with alcoholism, discussing it not only in the Carolla interview but also in his autobiography and in a recent appearance at McCrossan Boys Ranch.
Of course, O’Brien didn’t actually single out the U.S. Senate race or 2014 in the Carolla interview. The 65-year-old could be pondering a different race (governor? House?) or a different year. And the entrance of someone like O’Brien into any of those races would certainly shake things up. But none of these races will be more prominent than the Senate race, so as a chronicler and observer I can only dream…