Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln One-Liner Makes Light of Any Political Aspirations

by Suzanne Halliburton

Matthew McConaughey has done nothing to silence rumors he may be running for governor of the great state of Texas. But on Wednesday, he comically danced around the political topic.

An NPR reporter was interviewing McConaughey in a Twitter Space. And the reporter — Scott Simon — asked the Academy Award winner about his Lone Star aspirations. Simon did so by bringing up Abraham Lincoln. After all McConaughey is the spokesman for Lincoln. And, he was the Lincoln Lawyer. He quotes Lincoln.

Simon asked Matthew McConaughey: “I think anybody who starts quoting Lincoln is at least thinking of running for office.”

And McConaughey was quick with the quip. “Hey Scooter, he was a great wrestler, too.”

Wait, what? Abraham Lincoln was a wrestler? Yes, for those of you who aren’t frolicking in the intersection of politics and sports, the former president is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Let’s go to for some more info. Lincoln sported a 299-1 wrestling record. He was a terrific grappler because of his long arms. Carl Sandburg, in his Lincoln biography, also said the president talked big in the ring. He reportedly told opponents “I’m the big buck of this lick. If any of you want to try it, come on and whet your horns.” To think, Lincoln went on to the far more serious “four score and seven years ago.”

So that brings us back to Matthew McConaughey, who is loving life these days. His Texas Longhorns are playing the arch-rival Oklahoma Sooners, Saturday, in the Cotton Bowl. He was pushing Longhorn tailback Bijan Robinson for the Heisman Trophy, last week. But he’s admittedly biased. He’s the unofficial minister of culture for the Texas athletic department and is a professor at the school. And he loves to wear his burnt orange suit to games. He’s loving more than just Longhorn football. His Austin FC soccer team won its last match.

But let’s bring it back to Matthew McConaughey and his potential run for Texas governor. He has yet to even declare a political party, so he’s not there, as yet. Greg Abbott, the Republican and incumbent, is running to keep his office, although McConaughey is ahead of the governor in some polls. And Beto O’Rourke probably is running for the Democratic nomination. The NPR reporter asked him if he was running for governor. McConaughey said “I am not … until I am.” So in other words, there’s no news, until there is.

Matthew McConaughey also danced around a political question last month when he appeared on the podcast “Set it Straight: Myths and Legends.”

“Look, it’s going to be in some capacity,” Matthew McConaughey said of his potential political aspirations. “I’m more of a folk-singing, philosopher, poet-statesman than I am per-se definitive politician, so I go, ‘Well that’s a reason not to,’ and then I go, ‘No, that’s exactly why you should, because politics needs redefinition.

“I have to remain a storyteller,” he said. “I’ve been given that gift. I love doing it. I have to remain an artist.”

Let us translate. That’s a no, until it’s a yes.