Herschel Walker Knows He’s Not Smart. He Still May Become a U.S. Senator

I almost admire the Georgia senatorial candidate’s ability to fail up in a way few men before him ever have — but he’s too dangerous for the job he seeks.

Herschel Walker is already trying to minimize expectations about his October debate with Senator Raphael Warnock.

Speaking to the Savannah Morning News, Walker claimed that he was just “a country boy” in comparison to the Democratic incumbent.

“I’m not that smart,” Walker explained.

“He’s a preacher. (Warnock) is smart and wears these nice suits. So, he is going to show up and embarrass me at the debate on Oct. 14th, and I’m just waiting to show up and I will do my best.”

It’s almost as if Herschel Walker hasn’t been a rich and famous football player for decades now. Someone with a celebrity so strong that he can potentially trip his way into a Senate seat without knowing much of anything related to government. After delivering this “aww shucks, I’s not smart like Mr. Pastor man” shtick, however, a spokesperson for Walker’s campaign later said that his comments were meant to be sarcastic.

I don’t think Walker can complete a sentence without struggle, much less manage to pull off sarcasm, but sure, I guess he was trying to be slick in his very simple way.

Mind you, Walker is the same person, who before this interview, called on Reverend Warnock to “name the place and the time” for the debates. It took him forever to agree to one of the proposed debates. Now he’s already suggesting that he will fail to impress.

Herschel Walker wouldn’t be the first politician suspected of minimizing debate expectations so low that by simply not drooling over one’s self will impress voters — especially when up against an opponent already perceived as intellectually superior in the race.

As Charles Blow pointed out in a recent column for the New York Times, former President George W. Bush tried this trick when running against then Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election.

Karen Hughes, who served as a senior Bush adviser and helped his debate prep, told the New York Times in 2016: “Keeping quiet was a way to keep expectations low for Governor Bush. In debates, you run against expectations almost as much as you run against your opponent.”

And then there is of course, Donald Trump, someone equally as incurious and disinterested in learning about the functions of the political office he seeks, but who benefited greatly from the media’s already generous coverage of his campaign in spite of all signs of it screaming danger and utter stability.

Much like Trump, Walker knows that he is not qualified for the job but wants it anyway because he enjoys power, prestige, and the boost in profile the office provides.

And like that situation, all many of us can do is plead for people to stop making the same mistake of handing a famous simpleton political power they don’t deserve in their condition..

Every single interview that Walker has given since announcing his senatorial bid has made it abundantly clear that he is an empty vessel. Walker is not so much a gaffe machine as he is someone not especially curious or well read, thus, often sounds like a complete fool whenever on the campaign trail. Even his campaign staffers know how bad the issue is.

According to the Daily Beast, his own staffers don’t believe he articulates his thoughts coherently — and even if he did, they have a hard time trusting anything he says.

One adviser said lies “like he’s breathing.”

“He’s lied so much that we don’t know what’s true,” the person added, adding that aides have “zero” trust in the candidate. Three separate other people interviewed for the article — independently — referred to him as a “pathological liar.”

Well, Walker has said he graduated valedictorian from the University of Georgia, when in fact he never graduated; he did falsely claim to be an FBI agent; he said once say he started a breaded-chicken empire, though no such chicken empire exists; and, the one that really tickles people, his insistence that Trump has never said the 2020 election was stolen.

Who could forget about all of the children he lied about being the father of?

Walker’s most recent allegations of lying involve one of his company’s claims to have donated profits to charity but has scant evidence to support it.

This doesn’t even include the darkest allegations leveled against him related to domestic violence.

Herschel Walker may not be as dumb as he’s pretending to be, but no, he’s not that sharp and has no business being a U.S. Senator. But his efforts to minimize expectations should offend anyone that would hate to see someone this dim and dangerous in the Senate — especially at the expense of Reverend Raphael Warnock, the first Black man to be elected to the Senate in the state of Georgia.

Even if you disagree with Warnock’s ideology, he is smart, thoughtful, and based on his short time in office, committed to making a real impact.

By comparison, Walker is a stooge prompted by Trump, whose contempt for intellectualism is only outmatched by his racism. Black men like Herschel Walker don’t mind being props for a bigot like Trump, but for him to suddenly verbalize how unintelligent he is makes his candidacy all the more enraging. It is disgusting — mainly because it may very well work.

In an InsiderAdvantage poll released earlier in September, Warnock now trails Walker with 44 percent versus Walker’s 47 percent. Warnock lost four points while Walker picked up two points since the previous poll released in July.

Trump and Republicans writ large are hoping to replace a Black pastor with political and oratorical talents for a famous ex-football player that gleefully tells you he’s not that smart.

I don’t know how much debates matter anymore, but in this case, may the man telling you he is a fool be believed — and enough people vote for his opponent.



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Michael Arceneaux

Michael Arceneaux


New York Times bestselling author of “I Can’t Date Jesus” and “I Don’t Want To Die Poor.” Houstonian.