Herschel Walker couldn’t bust through Senator Warlock’s blue wall on Tuesday Night, or leap over it. As the final surviving Trump-backed candidate running for statewide office, Walker’s resounding loss capped off a disastrous election cycle for Trump’s celebrity-political spawn. And just like the USFL’s failed Trump-led challenge of the NFL, Georgia Republicans were left with nothing to show for the RNC’s decision to follow Trump off a cliff. At least the USFL got three bucks.
Walker’s entire Senate campaign was a disgrace to every voter in Georgia. He may have been the most uninformed candidate the GOP has ever run, and epitomized the right wing’s growing obsession with treating elections like a celebrity edition of Survivor.
Why elect an experienced intellectual when they could just entrust celebrities who have no clue what public service entails except for when it comes time to lower their own taxes? Walker’s most detailed policy proposal was a department that can “look at young men, looking at women, that’s looking at social media.”
The inception of his campaign was an insult to the dignity of African-American voters in Georgia. Disgraced ex-president Donald Trump thought Walker on the ballot could counter the urban Black vote Warnock rallied to the polls in his runoff victory over Kelly Loeffler in 2020. Walker could have presented himself as a Black conservative candidate who served as a megaphone for the actual concerns of a contingent of Black Republicans. Instead, he parroted every hard-right-wing Republican and railed on “woke culture,” spewing toxic rhetoric toward the trans community. In response, Walker was rejected by Atlanta and its surrounding exurbs.
Walker’s residency in Texas, the petty war with his own son, his track record of domestic violence, mental health issues, his abortion hypocrisy being aired out, his habitual lying, and the RNC-appointed chaperones indicate how unprepared and inadequate he was. Walker’s ignorance of any policy issues and showing up to rallies or debates stumbling over words as if he was a high school student improvising an oral book report on a novel he’d never touched.
Walker’s candidacy was a bigger dud than his Vikings career. At least there he was able to be immortalized for being the subject of a trade that birthed a dynasty… for the Cowboys. For the second election cycle in a row, Trump’s coup-supporting candidates nosedived.
As surreal as it may seem that a lobotomy patient was able to garner 1.7 million votes from an electorate in a purple state, it isn’t entirely surprising. The Overton window has been lowering for years now. The GOP is more interested in plug-and-play candidates who automatically provide name recognition, a flunky they can pencil in for automatic “yes” votes, and help them maintain the straight white male supremacy their base has grown accustomed to. The next wagon GOP primary voters get attached to will probably be Ye in a “white Lives Matter” shirt or Stacey Dash.
In the final weeks of his runoff campaign, Walker vanished from the campaign trail for days and weeks at a time, Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan explained that he was joining a chorus of reliable right-wing voters who couldn’t support Walker, and Walker began riffing on vampires as the GOP establishment slowly realized the run-off was a lost cause. Walker got chewed up and spat out on Election Night in America, and then Walker’s regurgitated bones gave a tepid concession speech after his path to victory was slammed shut, which was the most graceful thing he’s done in a year.
Walker will return to Texas, and hopefully be forgotten, but his tarnish will remain.