Quick: Can you name the only two U.S. senators (both Republican) who landed on TIME Magazine’s recent list of the 100 most influential people in the world?
One of them (no surprise) is Sen. Scott Brown the Republican 41st Senate vote.
The other senator’s name you probably wouldn’t guess unless you were a Sunday morning news show junkie, so here is a hint: he is the OTHER senator from Arizona… (cue Jeopardy theme song). Time’s up; his name is Jon Kyl and probably less than 1% of Americans know his name. But you should and you will… soon.
Although usually over- shadowed by that well known senator from Arizona, John McCain, Jon Kyl is minority whip in the Senate, holding the No. 2 Republican leadership position.
As minority whip Sen. Kyl usually works outside of the spotlight, responsible for rallying his Republican colleagues for key legislative votes and works very hard; so hard The Hill just named him No. 5 of the top 25 hardest working lawmakers on Capitol Hill out of all 535 members of the House and the Senate.
There’s working hard and then there is working smart and Sen. Kyl is known for both; according to TIME he has an “encyclopedic knowledge of domestic and foreign policy” and an ability to get things done.
So with TIME naming him one of the 100 “people who most affect our world,” and The Hill naming him hardest working, what does the future hold for this Republican Senate leader who most Americans have never heard of? Here’s the answer.
Sen. Kyl was speaking at a Republican women’s luncheon I attended last week on Capitol Hill. After his speech, I was able to submit an anonymous question on a 3 by 5 card, which the program chair chose to ask as the “grand finale question.” Then to my surprise Sen. Kyl answered it without hesitation. The question was… would you be interested in the VP slot on the 2012 ticket, since you are not running for president? Sen. Kyl did not miss a beat and boldly said YES he would be interested in the VP slot.
Of course at this point we have no idea who will head the 2012 presidential ticket, and whether the candidate will offer the No. 2 slot to Sen. Kyl, but at least the GOP has a terrific, conservative candidate who is willing to offer himself up as VP and is not shy about it.
Nor is Sen. Kyl shy about why he is NOT interested in running for president although eminently qualified and in my humble opinion more qualified than some people who are running.
Sen. Kyl explained that it takes too much time to run for president, and most important he enjoys his work in the Senate with all the pressing issues that need his attention, while fighting to keep this Democratic controlled Senate and White House in check before reinforcements arrive after the November mid term election.
Later that day, I told a friend who is a political consultant about Sen. Kyl’s brutally honest public VP answer and my friend said “it’s refreshing to hear someone be so candid about that for a change.”
It sure is, so thank you Sen. Kyl for your honesty and willingness to serve this nation. It is my sincere hope that whoever tops the 2012 GOP ticket will select Jon Kyl as their teammate.
Myra Adams is a media producer, writer and political observer. Her media clients have included national associations, political interest groups and corporations. She was on the creative team with Mark McKinnon that created the now infamous John Kerry “Windsurfing” ad for the Bush 2004 presidential campaign and served on the McCain Ad Council during the 2008 McCain campaign. Myra’s web site TheJesusStore.com contributes all profits to Christian charity.