With his contradiction of gruffness and softness, Rupert Boneham worked his way into our consciousness on the TV show Survivor many seasons ago. What made me a fan were his outside-the-lines thinking when looking for a way to gain an advantage over the other tribe: Steal their shoes! It was sheer genius. Sabotaging the opposition was never expressly forbidden–we just never saw anyone do it.
Living in Indianapolis, I’ve had the opportunity to meet Rupert. He’s a nice man with a big heart. I think he’d give anything to help a child. With his charity, he has helped many children and that’s the sort of community payback that goes on paying dividends for generations. But nothing about the man that I’ve encountered, either on TV or in person, would suggest that he knows anything more about politics than the average Joe on the street. Yet, for some reason, this well-intentioned man has announced the creation of an exploratory committee to evaluate his chances of running for and winning the Statehouse in 2012.
Sadly, having one’s heart in the right place–even helping kids through a charity backed by some of your own funds–is not enough to be able to govern a state. While some actors, wrestlers, and singers have successfully moved into government at various levels, I don’t know that one of the all-time favorite players of Survivor can unseat Mitch Daniels or go toe-to-toe with Melina Kennedy.