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June 02, 2014 8:39 AM Et Tu, Herschel?

By Ed Kilgore

I’ve been ignoring politics since finding out about my mother’s death last Tuesday, but here in Georgia you cannot completely evade the U.S. Senate race, and particularly the potentially vicious GOP runoff contest between first-place finisher David Perdue and runner-up- Jack Kingston.

The diabolical Kingston, who has used business community and K Street money to run ads remaking himself almost overnight from a time-serving appropriator into an Avenging Warrior of the Right, has been on something of a roll in the brief runoff campaign. He was well ahead of Perdue in the one public poll taken since the May 20 primary. He was endorsed by third-place finisher Karen Handel, and by her sidekicks Erick Erickson of RedState and Julianne Thompson of the Atlanta Tea Party. Rep. Tom Price, who was neutral in the primary, also climbed on board.

But the real shocker was this endorsement:

I’m not sure if non-Georgians comprehend the reverence with which Herschel Walker is regarded in this state, even though he doesn’t really live here any more. That he has not, so far as I know, endorsed candidates before makes this step that much more noteworthy. And it’s also given Kingston backers a fresh excuse to remind people that David Perdue has two degrees from Georgia Tech. From a popularity point of view, that is not the university affiliation you want in this state.

I don’t know if Perdue has the money or the sheer hatefulness it will take to win the runoff. But if he gives it the old college try, it will probably be via contesting Kingston’s “true conservative” bona fides, particularly via some shots at his earmarking history. But there’s only one Herschel Walker, and Perdue has no way of countering that Heisman-sized endorsement.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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