I am not aware of any books that have been written about Donald Trump yet that would rival biographies of Abraham Lincoln and FDR among those in the pantheon of great presidents. but the material for a hagiography is being made every day. Some aspiring author will figure this out and convert it into a moneymaker that will appeal to the true believers.
Trump may have superseded the Pope for a desired blessing. It has become de riguer for any Republican with political ambition to seek not only Trump’s blessing before running for office, but more importantly, his endorsement. This is occurring all over the United States, but here in Georgia it’s become almost a sport.
Herschel Walker, the football running back of University of Georgia fame who has lived in Texas for the past 30 years or so, kept Republican leaders and possible opponents in suspense while deciding whether to run for the U.S. Senate in 2022. The seat is currently occupied by Democrat Raphael Warnock, one that Republicans held for almost two decades until 2020. Trump had encouraged Walker to run with the slogan, “Run Herschel, run!”
There are at least three announced Republicans already in this race. All are from Georgia, and all have more experience than Walker. The most qualified is Georgia Agriculture Commissioner, Gary Black, who has served in that office for ten years, an office that oversees the largest segment of the Georgia economy.
Walker has ducked every single Republican political gathering to date. He shows up to no events where he could meet voters and answer questions. His handler(s) put out bromides about the American Dream, putting people back to work, and other feel-good statements that amount to nothing. But two weeks ago he officially registered to vote in Georgia and announced that he is a candidate. His webpage, however, doesn’t show his stance on a single issue; it only asks for contributions. Is that what farmers call buying a pig in a poke?
South Georgia congressman Buddy Carter, a Republican, had been interested in competing in the Republican primary, but he consistently said that if Walker were to run, he wouldn’t because without Trump’s endorsement Walker would “essentially have a lock on the primary.” In other words, Trump’s endorsement is perceived as having more clout than if a candidate has substance.
Walker comes with a lot of baggage that doesn’t include football gear. He wrote an autobiography that discusses mental illness, to include a multiple personality disorder and playing Russian roulette. He has a history of physical abuse against his ex-wife and several other women. His voting history shows long gaps in casting a ballot, which suggests a lack of political or civic interest.
Since his announcement that he is officially in the race, Trump came out with this statement, “Herschel Walker is a friend, a patriot, and an outstanding American who is going to be a GREAT United States senator. He embodies ‘America First’ and the winning spirit of Georgia.” It seems like with an endorsement like that from “the Man” himself, all the other candidates should go home.
In the meanwhile, Republican Governor Brian Kemp is running for reelection in Georgia next year, too. His only announced Republican primary opponent so far is Vernon Jones, a former state representative and DeKalb County commission chairman. Jones also comes with a lot of baggage that includes changing political parties only a year or so ago and violence against women.
Trump is determined to see Kemp go down because of Kemp’s refusal to overturn the election results in Georgia, but endorsing Jones would be a certain loser, and we all know that Trump doesn’t like to lose. That said, Trump’s former surrogate, Rudy Giuliani, recently came to Georgia to help Jones with a fundraiser. Then again, Giuliani may have his own agenda, i.e. raising money for legal fees if he is indicted, a not unrealistic possibility.
Trump also endorsed Georgia State Senator Burt Jones for lieutenant governor. Jones has been a big supporter of Trump’s conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 election, and despite Georgia state Senator pro tem Butch Miller’s efforts to gain Trump’s support for the position, Trump didn’t perceive him as being strong enough in opposing the election results.
On the national level, no one knows if Trump will run for president in 2024. But that hasn’t slowed down potential candidates from seeking Trump's favor if he decides not to. After all, the belief is that Trump’s endorsement is tantamount to winning, and as 2022 comes and goes, the long knives among Republicans will be out for that blessing.
Perhaps Georgia will be a test of just how important getting the nod from Trump will be. My bet is that Gary Black’s endorsements, to include a former governor, about a third of Georgia sheriffs and counting, and Trump sycophant and hatchet bearer, former Congressman Doug Collins, will trump Trump. The Trump hagiography just might have a surprise ending.