Schilling as senator? Don't count on it.

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Curt Schilling – former Red Sox ace, future hall-of-famer, and full-time conservative – is mulling a run at the US senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy. That's the rumor out of Boston today, and already both the sports radio dials and the political blogosphere are abuzz. For his part, Schilling hasn't made a definitive move one way or another.

"I do have some interest in the possibility," he wrote this afternoon on his blog. "That being said, to get to there from where I am today, many many things would have to align themselves for that to truly happen. I am not going to comment further on the matter since at this point it would be speculation on top of speculation."

OK, so Schilling can't speculate. We can.

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Would Schilling have a legitimate shot at the senate? Maybe. Plenty of athletes have made the transition to politics, including Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Jim Bunning, and J.C. Watts. And in the Bay State, where a love of baseball runs particularly deep, Schilling has plenty of fans. He even has experience on the trail: Schilling stumped for both George W. Bush and John McCain.

But Schilling would have two obstacles to surpass before he could head to Washington.

First, he'd need to convert his legendary status as an athlete into political credibility. Right now, he's known mostly as a celebrity, not as a prognosticator. As a commenter over at Boston.com wrote today, Schilling "is a complete political novice ... who veers far right in one of the most progressive, liberal states in the union."

Furthermore, the potential field is already crowded with seasoned Democrats that would be a stern match for him in the general election. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has already made public her bid for the Senate seat. Also on the short list: Michael Capuano, a congressman from Somerville; Stephen Lynch, a congressman from South Boston; Congressman Ed Markey; and Joseph P. Kennedy II, the former US representative.

Kennedy, if he decides to run, is the decided favorite.

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