Voices: Is Herschel Walker deliberately sabotaging his own campaign?

Herschel Walker (Getty Images)
Herschel Walker (Getty Images)

In this week’s exciting episode of “What’s Herschel Up To Now?” we find our hero in yet another pickle.

This time, we’ve learned that candidate for U.S. Senate from Georgia/former football star Herschel Walker’s main residence is in…Texas. Last time we checked, Texas is not in Georgia, so this is a problem because Walker received a tax exemption by claiming to be a primary resident of Texas.

But it’ll probably be OK! Walker has overcome other scandals, lots of others, during his brief political career. So many, in fact, that we have to wonder: is he doing all this deliberately, to get out of actually serving in Congress?

Remember that kid in 7th grade, the goofy one who ran for class president on a platform of getting soda machines for the cafeteria and early dismissals every week? He loved the limelight, and was very entertaining, but you could tell he didn’t really want the job. And it wasn’t even much of a job, because the faculty remained firmly in charge of middle school. We were NEVER going to get those soda machines, were we?

Walker may be the grown-up equivalent of that preteen kid--lots of hot air, crazy stories, and not much else. The parallel continues; if elected, Walker probably wouldn’t really be in charge of deciding anything, because the GOP higher-ups would be firmly in control. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? He’d also have to wear suits and ties on a regular basis! Although with the election of John “Tall Shorts Man” Fetterman, the Senate may soon be relaxing its sartorial standards for the chamber. So perhaps football jerseys would be acceptable attire now. Still, there’s a LOT of sitting around, and pretending to listen, and making semi-coherent speeches, and voting against things. Boring!

If indeed this is all Walker’s ploy to get lots of press, then be defeated, it may well backfire. For every wild claim he’s made (remember the fake sheriff’s badge? Working with the FBI? The easily debunked statement about being high school valedictorian and top college grad?!), there have been Republican Congress members and right-wing talking heads who are quick to cushion the potential blows to his campaign. Then there have been the off-the-wall personal appearances, with Walker’s ruminations on the bad air from China, the good “gas-guzzling cars” and, of course, his mind-blowing discovery that werewolves are stronger than vampires. This all has rated either dismissive chuckles, or total silence, from many prominent Republicans.

Also, Walker is not exactly Parent of the Year; with hypocritically funding a few abortions on the one hand, and neglecting to mention several of his children on the other. But no matter! As Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) asserted, he and Walker share the “same values.” When pressed, the Governor basically said those values consisted of “winning,” and then he said “something something prices at the pump, border, inflation at 40 year high, yadda yadda.” Or words to that effect. We’re still waiting for detailed plans to address these issues, by Walker, Kemp, or anyone else in the party.

It’s a big mess, and it is sure to get messier before this is all over. In a different time, this would be a diverting sideshow, not to be taken seriously. Nowadays, Walker may get elected in spite of himself. As this possibility dawns on him, we can expect to hear more wild and crazy stuff in this final stretch. Maybe Walker will show up for an event in a Mickey Mouse costume. Perhaps he’ll share more amazing facts involving zombies and ghosts that he learned from movies. What if it turns out that he actually lives on Mars (and gets a Martian tax exemption)?

Even the nuttiest developments in the days ahead may not be enough to derail the Herschel Walker Express. He may yet chug along to victory in the upcoming runoff. If he wins, though, at least Georgians can be proud of one thing.

He’ll make sure those Senate soda machines have good old Georgia Coke in them. NOT Pepsi.