Herschel Walker tries a new approach in his race against Senator Raphael Warnock in Georgia: Don’t expect too much from me, I’m just not that smart.
Walker’s new spin comes specifically in connection with next month’s scheduled debate between the two candidates.
‘I am this country boy. I’m not that smart. And he’s that preacher. He’s a smart man, he wears these nice suits,” Walker said of Warnock at a recent press conference filmed by Savannah Morning News. “So he shows up and embarrasses me at the debate on October 14, and I’ll just wait and see. I’ll show up and do my best.”
What, well, okay.
It’s pretty obvious what Walker is doing – or trying to do here. He is desperate to lower expectations ahead of the debate in hopes of hitting a very low bar and speeding up the event for the final weeks of the campaign.
And so Walker tries to portray himself as a simple man – and a man of the people – as opposed to Warnock. Of course Warnock has to win the debate, the logic goes, so if Walker can even get through their time together on stage, that should count as a win.
Walker may also be trying to use this very ordinary boy vibe to explain away his past struggles on the campaign trail. He has to date speculated about America’s “good air” drifting to China, made a nonsensical response about gun control, falsely claimed to be with law enforcement and publicly admitted that he had three children with women he was not married to.
It has been a rough turn of events to say the least. And yet recent polls show the race remains fairly close.
(Sidebar: Walker also brought in a more professional team this summer — including veteran GOP agent Gail Gitcho — and has benefited from a more disciplined message.)
Going forward, the question is whether Walker’s “I’m not that smart” rule is part of a coordinated campaign strategy or just another blunder committed by a new candidate who has struggled immensely to adapt to the pace and campaign path requirements.
The point: Walker has been an unsteady candidate – at best – and still runs very close to Warnock. Can this last move lower expectations enough to make him win a debate, as long as he looks reasonably proficient?
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