As first appeared in Boxscore
By Aron Solomon
When Kevin McCarthy was ousted as Speaker of the House in a historic vote, it threw the House and its Republican leadership into chaos. The vote in the House of Representatives on the motion to vacate was 216-210, with eight Republicans joining the Democrats in voting to remove McCarthy from the speakership.
This unprecedented move was sparked by a contingent of hard-right conservatives, led by Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, angered by McCarthy’s decision to work with Democrats to keep the federal government open rather than risk a shutdown. The House now finds itself without a leader, and the future of the Republican Party’s leadership remains uncertain.
Enter Tom Brady: A Unifying Figure for the Speaker of the House. The Speaker We Need.
Look. It’s 2023. Crazier things have happened.
Let’s first dispense with the requisite legalities. Contrary to what you might be reading on your social media platform of choice, the Speaker of the House does not need to be in Congress, a lawyer, or a politician of any sort – mercifully, one could cogently argue today.
As Boston-raised South Florida lawyer John Lawlor points out, “The legal foundation for the idea that the Speaker of the House does not need to be a member of Congress is based on the U.S. Constitution and historical precedent: The Constitution does not explicitly require the Speaker to be a member of the House of Representatives. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution states, ‘The House of Representatives shall chuse (sic) their Speaker and other Officers.’”
The Clerk of the House and the House Historian also agree that while the Speaker has always been a House member, there is no constitutional requirement for the Speaker to be a member of Congress.
Yes, every Speaker of the House so far has been a member of Congress. However…so what?
Given the practical realities of American political life, finding one qualified person that garners bipartisan admiration would be a rare feat indeed. Tom Brady, the legendary quarterback who has managed to unite both Republicans and Democrats through his exemplary leadership qualities, his unparalleled success on the football field, and his accomplishments in life and business off the gridiron. With a proven track record of bringing people together and a dedication to excellence, Tom Brady could be an outstanding candidate for the position of Speaker of the House.
I know the end of that last paragraph sounds like an agency ad copy, but it’s true. One of Brady’s most remarkable attributes is his leadership prowess. Throughout his truly illustrious football career (in many circles, he is the true GOAT – Greatest of All Time), he displayed an unwavering commitment to his team’s success, setting an example that extended far beyond the field. He also has the championship rings to prove it.
Whether it was rallying his teammates during a crucial fourth-quarter drive or leading by example through his remarkably intense training regimen (I mean, just look at him), Brady’s leadership consistently elevated those around him. In the turbulent world of politics – especially as we have seen this week – the ability to inspire and unite is invaluable, and Brady has demonstrated time and again that he possesses this rare skill.
Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to consider Brady for the role of Speaker is his broad appeal across party lines. In an era marked by arguably the worst political polarization in American history, finding a candidate able to bridge the divide is essential. People either love Tom Brady or simply don’t like him – I can attest to this as a rabid NFL fan who actually falls into the latter category. But even for those for whom Tom Brady is clearly not to their taste, we respect the heck out of him, just as both Republicans and Democrats would in the House.
Beyond his football career, Tom Brady’s accomplishments in life and business highlight his remarkable intelligence and world-class adaptability. He graduated from the venerable University of Michigan with a degree in economics, demonstrating a solid academic foundation. Off the field, he has ventured into various business endeavors, showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit and acumen (we are covering our eyes and ears just for a minute on his involvement with SBF and FTX here). Brady’s success in building a brand and managing diverse business interests speaks to his ability to navigate complex challenges and make strategic decisions – a skill set that would serve him well in the intricate world of House politics.
Tom Brady is also someone who has shined in so many ways off the field. His commitment to philanthropy and community engagement underscores his sense of civic responsibility. Through initiatives like the TB12 Foundation, he has contributed to causes ranging from childhood cancer research to supporting at-risk youth. His dedication to making a positive impact on society aligns with the values of public service and the greater good that the Speaker of the House should embody.
Okay – the most cynical of readers will write all of this off as palaver, but there is a fine point to be made here:
What the House is doing now ain’t working.
How bad an idea would it be to float the name of someone who has excelled for decades at part of the foundation of American cultural life – NFL football – to be allowed to try to make a difference in how we do politics today? The idea that someone who isn’t in the House couldn’t learn the intricacies of being there and couldn’t get up to speed as Speaker is absurd. An NFL playbook is hundreds of pages, with a QB needing to know every word, image, and concept.
The truth is that Tom Brady’s leadership qualities, his ability to bridge political divides, his educational background, and his accomplishments in various aspects of life and business all make him a compelling candidate for the role of Speaker of the House. The House of Representatives should strongly consider immediate conversations with Mr. Brady to gauge if there is even remote mutual interest. I guarantee that such conversations would be, at an absolute minimum, educational for both sides and could be a touchdown for America.
About Aron Solomon
A Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer, Aron Solomon, JD, is the Chief Legal Analyst for Esquire Digital and the Editor-in-Chief for Today’s Esquire. He has taught entrepreneurship at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania, and was elected to Fastcase 50, recognizing the top 50 legal innovators in the world. Aron has been featured in Forbes, CBS News, CNBC, USA Today, ESPN, TechCrunch, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Fortune, Venture Beat, The Independent, Fortune China, Yahoo!, ABA Journal, Law.com, The Boston Globe, YouTube, NewsBreak, and many other leading publications.