The most high-profile African American Republicans are Tim Scott, Larry Elder, Ben Carson, Condoleezza Rice, and Daniel Cameron. Scott is the only African-American Republican in the Senate. Elder is a conservative talk show radio running who lost a recall election for governor of California. Carson is a brain surgeon and ex-head of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Donald Trump; Rice is the former Secretary of State under George Bush, and Cameron is the Attorney General in the Mitch McConnell state of Kentucky.
Herschel Walker is a name that entered into the mostly colorless yet occasionally ink spotted world of Republican politics. The former football great recently announced he was running for the 2022 Senate in Georgia. If all goes to plan, he will run against incumbent Raphael Warnock. Earlier this year, Warnock became the first African American ever to represent the peach state in the Senate. Initially, I smiled when I heard the news about Walker’s bold foray from a well-manicured football field to the murky and swampy depths of politics.
However, as I delved deeper into the details, my smile turned into a smirk and an eye roll. I watched several interviews with Walker, including one he did with Fox News. The discussions were all standard stump speeches. He rambled on about creating better jobs, the economy, fair representation of all people, and something about Georgia being a great state with great people, i.e. (Marjorie Taylor Greene). I coughed, yawned, and scratched my head at the end of one of the interviews when Walker praised and thanked Donald Trump for his support and endorsement.
I remember sitting in a University of Iowa lounge or a sports bar in Iowa City in the 1980s with my dorm mates and friends watching Walker, a former Heisman Trophy winner, score touchdown after touchdown. The former University of Georgia tailback eventually became a pro footballer for the Giants, Cowboys, Vikings, and others. Under Trump, Walker served as co-chair of the President’s Council on Sports Fitness & Nutrition in 2019.
Finally, while it’s usually admirable when anyone near the age of 60 attempts to make a life-altering change and venture full-throttle into something new and unfamiliar, this is not the case for Walker. As I mentioned, I have many fond memories of watching him on TV while in college and cheering for him as he raced toward the end zones. And, win or lose next year, Walker should stick to what he knows..the pigskin. He will always be a football icon and not a political pundit…period.