YARBROUGH COLUMN: Herschel Walker and advisors fumbled senate campaign

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, December 13, 2022

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One of the givens in occupying this space weekly is that when I talk about politics, which I do on occasion, anything I opine will be construed negatively by one side or the other. It is difficult for some to comprehend that I might be in the middle of the political road, unlike many (or most) columnists and commentators who see the world only through a liberal or conservative prism  — and are as predictable as morning dew.

The best example I can offer is something I wrote several years ago that got me these two reader responses in the same week. One said I was an Obama bedwetting liberal and the other accused me of being a racist redneck. One comment. Two opposite reactions.

If I criticize Donald Trump, then I must be a left-leaning liberal. If I criticize Joe Biden, I am a stolen election conspiracist. Wrong and wrong,

I think Joe Biden is well on his way to become our most inept president since Jimmy Carter. Awake or asleep. Not even Carter, who confessed to having lust in heart as if we the American public needed to know that, asked as did Biden during a speech at the White House if a recently deceased congresswoman was in the audience. (Um, she is not, sir. She is, um, dead.) And we trust this guy with the nuclear codes?

As for Donald Trump, he needs to face the fact that the 2020 election is over and done with before he and his sycophants destroy the Republican Party. Trump should take on the role of elder statesman and help identify and support the next generation of Republican leaders instead of continuing to seek personal revenge. Let’s face it, his endorsement of candidates in our recent state’s elections had little impact.

One of those endorsements was UGA football hero and political novice Herschel Walker for the U.S. Senate. Trump gave him his “complete and total endorsement.” Walker lost in a runoff to incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, giving the United States Senate a Democratic majority.

Walker may have run – or his advisors ran – one of the worst campaigns I have ever witnessed. Leave it to Dan McLagan, a longtime Republican strategist who was helping elect candidates before Donald Trump was firing people on his TV reality show, to describe the effort. McLagan told a reporter, “Herschel was like a plane crash into a train wreck that rolled into a dumpster fire. And an orphanage. Then an animal shelter.” The man does have a way with words.

I would only add to that: What were Walker’s advisors thinking? One of the first things campaign strategists do when preparing a candidate to run for office is to get all the skeletons out of the closet. Find out what they are and come up with a proactive strategy to deal with them. No surprises. Surely, they discussed the abortion issues, the children out of wedlock, the threats he made against his first wife. If they did, they did a lousy job of execution. Or he didn’t listen.

Had Herschel asked my advice, I would have had him say, “Yes, those things did happen. I made mistakes and I regret them all. But I have learned from them. I am a better person today and, as a result, I will be a senator that you can be proud of.”  In my opinion, that would have played well with a lot of folks. It didn’t help that Walker also lied and/or exaggerated about his academic record, his law enforcement background and his business experience. Not to mention vampires and living in Texas while running for office in Georgia. Even with all that, Herschel Walker came within 3 percentage points of defeating incumbent Sen, Raphael Warnock, but he fumbled badly.

If Donald Trump or anyone else thought that winning a national championship at UGA and the Heisman Trophy would sway voters, they were badly mistaken. That was 42 years ago, before a lot of them were born. Today, the talk is about the current national champions at UGA and Stetson Fleming Bennett IV.

Okay, enough politics for the day. You may agree or disagree with this Obama bedwetting liberal racist redneck. That is your prerogative and I welcome your feedback. In the meantime, I am moving on to more important subjects like the future prospects of the current national champions at UGA and that of Stetson Fleming Bennett IV. About this, I am definitely not middle-of-the road.