Has the biggest MAGA draft choice in Georgia decided to opt out instead? This weekend’s Republican convention offered former football great Herschel Walker a plum opportunity to establish support for the Senate run against Raphael Warnock next year. Instead, delegates and activists were left wondering why Walker skipped the event, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — and weren’t happy about it either:
If Herschel Walker wanted to fire up Republicans about a potential U.S. Senate run, the GOP convention this weekend in Jekyll Island would have been the perfect setting.
Instead, the UGA football great skipped the gathering — and a chance to energize thousands of delegates who form the backbone of the state party.
Suffice to say, the state GOP leaders and activists we spoke with are eager to get the Senate race underway and running out of patience waiting for Walker to make a move.
And the only reason they’re waiting in the first place is because Donald Trump encouraged Walker to run.
The lack of participation doesn’t necessarily mean that Walker’s backing out. Kelly Loeffler apparently didn’t show up either, and she’s widely expected to run again. The candidates who did show up to discuss their challenge for the nomination were largely those whose profile is low enough to need the boost the convention provides.
However, Walker’s never run for office before, and has no particular political standing other than his natural celebrity in Georgia. If he plans on conducting a serious run for the nomination, Walker will need those delegates to see him as a serious candidate. He won’t get many better opportunities to build those connections than at a state convention, which makes his absence … intriguing.
Is Walker not all that interested, or is he relying on Donald Trump’s endorsement alone to get to the nomination? That would certainly be a populist strategy, but why not at least try to get delegates on board first? Walker’s absence won’t freeze the field for much longer, and it will encourage more contenders to jump in. The time to act would likely have been best this weekend, if Walker intends to act at all.