Former President Donald Trump is telling people Herschel Walker is running for the United States Senate in Georgia against Raphael Warnock. Walker is the greatest college football player of all time and a legend in the State of Georgia. He played for the University of Georgia and received the 1982 Heisman Trophy. He’s also an Olympian.
The 59-year-old is a native of Wrightsville, Georgia in Johnston County, a poor, rural part of Southeast Georgia. On paper, Walker is a compelling candidate. I have concerns though.
Walker has lived out of Georgia for a number of years. He has been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, or more commonly referred to now as disassociative identity disorder. He has, however, become a compelling spokesman for mental health treatment and wrote a book on the subject in 2008. He has been very open about his diagnosis.
My great concern about Walker has nothing to do with that, though I suspect the diagnosis will be used against him and he will need to find ways to push back. Let’s be honest, the Democrats and collaborates in the press will find ways to push Walker to provoke him. He is going to need to surround himself with competent people.
Therein lies my concern. I have a sense of some of the people Walker has been talking to and working with and that gives me hope. But his day-to-day team is going to matter and because there’s been buzz for some time in Trump circles, I worry a rich man from out of state with fame is going to be circled by grifters like vultures do to roadkill. He’s going to need a highly competent, polished team that gets him off and running. On the GOP side of late, the rich men with high name ID are the ones who the grifters seem to take advantage of the most. The team is going to matter.
The upside of Herschel Walker is his positive name recognition. The downside of Walker is that he went to play for the Dallas Cowboys in 1986 and has not been a regular feature in Georgia for a long time. The Atlanta suburbs are filled with people who were not Georgians when Walker made his name at UGA. In fact, the Atlanta suburbs have a lot of non-natives who are not UGA fans at all. Walker’s legend won’t impact them. His policies will.
Last year, he came on my radio show to get out the vote for Team Trump. He spent a great deal of time talking about national issues and focusing on socialism and the left. He’s going to need a message that resonates with Georgians about Georgia. One of the overarching criticisms of the Perdue and Loeffler runoffs is that they spent so much time attacking Warnock and Ossoff about socialism that they never painted an agenda for themselves.
Walker will have to fight in the Atlanta suburbs for the GOP in a primary and will face Georgia’s popular agriculture commissioner in South Georgia for the farmer vote. He will have Donald Trump with him, but Trump legitimately lost Georgia. That connection can get Walker through a primary, but he’s going to need more than Trump in a general election — he’ll need a platform of his own ideas for Georgia.
If Walker can do that with a competent team that isn’t just there to serve as yes men while bleeding him dry, he’ll be the favorite to win. But we need to see the team and the walk onto the field first. His initial steps onto the field are going to tell us a lot.