How Serious Is the GOP About Herschel Walker?

Josh Marshall catches the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) playing a fast one on donors. The NRSC is pushing an email campaign for donations to elect Herschel Walker to the Senate next month. That seems normal. But if you keep reading, you see that only one cent of every dollar donated is actually going to “Team Herschel.”

The most notable thing is that for ever dollar I give literally one cent goes to Herschel Walker’s campaign. 98 cents goes to the NRSC. This is fairly shocking in itself. But at the moment the NRSC’s main task is getting Walker elected. That’s the only outstanding Senate race. So maybe you can argue that NRSC money is mostly going to support Walker. Maybe.

But the thing that really jumped out to me is that the NRSC gets 98 cents, Herschel Walker gets one cent and “Team Rick Scott” also gets one cent. Rick Scott ran the NRSC for this cycle, a fairly disastrous run. This cycle continues with the runoff. But what’s Team Rick Scott? That’s Scott’s own personal campaign committee. And what’s the point exactly? After all it’s just one cent. If he’s going to put his hand in the till why not take more? The Times‘ Shane Goldmacher I think has this right. It’s not the money so much as the data. Scott only has a one cent toehold but he gets the donor data on every dollar these NRSC fundraising pitches bring in. It’s just astonishingly brazen.

Here’s what Shane Goldmacher said.

In other words, this is about Rick Scott possibly preparing for a presidential run, not about the head of the NRSC trying to get one more seat in the Senate.

There was a lot of griping within the GOP about Scott’s handling of the NRSC. A few days ago there was talk of an audit to find what Scott had done with donations. Scott blamed the NRSC’s financial problems on whoever was in charge before Scott took over, two years ago.

This New York Times article from September says that the NRSC racked in millions of dollars, but that Scott blew it .

It was early 2021, and Senator Rick Scott wanted to go big. The new chairman of the Senate Republican campaign arm had a mind to modernize the place. One of his first decisions was to overhaul how the group raised money online.

Mr. Scott installed a new digital team, spearheaded by Trump veterans, and greenlit an enormous wave of spending on digital ads, not to promote candidates but to discover more small contributors. Soon, the committee was smashing fund-raising records. By the summer of 2021, Mr. Scott was boasting about “historic investments in digital fund-raising that are already paying dividends.”

A year later, some of that braggadocio has vanished — along with most of the money.

Do tell.

Now top Republicans are beginning to ask: Where did all the money go?

The answer, chiefly, is that Mr. Scott’s enormous gamble on finding new online donors has been a costly financial flop in 2022, according to a New York Times analysis of federal records and interviews with people briefed on the committee’s finances. Today, the N.R.S.C. is raising less than before Mr. Scott’s digital splurge.

You can read the NY Times story (no paywall) for the whole story. The gist of it is that Scott went to the small donor well too often and too aggressively. Returns diminished after a while.

As far as Herschel is concerned, the GOP seems mostly concerned about keeping Trump out of Georgia so he doesn’t step on whatever chance Herschel has in winning. I am not finding any new polls since November 7, most of which had Walker beating Warnock.

4 thoughts on “How Serious Is the GOP About Herschel Walker?

  1. Hmm…

    So, who's the bigger crook?

    Scott, or tRUMP?

    Scott's "health care" (pronounced g-r-i-f-t) company was fined $1.2 billion dollars!  Scott bilked the government – and so, too, by extension, us:  America's taxpayers.

    Was tRUMP EVER worth 1.2 billion?  Probably.  But maybe not all at one time.  Still, even if not at one time, that's a hell of a lot of money to control! Even if tRUMP only bilked workers, contractors, renters, buyers, and played fast-and-loose with bankers with the taxman.

    Scott's $0.01 is obviously to get contact info for a Rick Scott run for POTUS.

    If he wins, that means that we'll have a lizard as POTUS before we get a woman,  or a gay, or a Muslim, or an Atheist, or whatever non-majority you want to name (even though women ARE the majority of the U.S. population).


  2. Rick Scott is an interesting crook who has only discovered since Trump how far and how openly you can go into the Seven Deadly Sins without being punished by the GOP electorate. Before Scott was a Senator, he was governor of Florida for two terms. Before that, he was the top dog at Columbia Hospital Org, which he founded. The company was extremely successful – it turns out that during Scott's tenure they engaged in massive Medicare fraud. Scott took the fifth and wasn't personally charged but the company paid a record 1.7 Billion in fines. A year later, the company paid Scott $300 million to leave. He moved to Florida and ran for governor.

    Let that sink in. In the state with the highest number of Seniors, the most accomplished Medicare fraudster of all time ran for the top job with NO  government experience except bilking Medicare of benefits intended for Seniors. GOP voters did not care. At the time, I thought it was powerful proof of how senility clouds judgment. Trump's success makes me think it's something else. 

    Opinion: these old white people aren't just into white privilege for themselves. They believe that the aristocratic class deserves the right to steal. Filthy rich cheats give that class of voters a thrill – Trump uses the line, "I'm really rich!" to his fans with great success. I think they know he's a tax cheat and they admire Trump for it. I don't think most liberal writers have picked up on the admiration conservative voters harbor for a white, extremely rich cheat who is eager to punish people not of their tribe. 

    My guess is that Scott has been (and is) trying to raise his profile. He thought he'd take and seriously expand the Senate.  Alone, that would not have raised his profile but Scott expected to use the power of the new Trumpian Senators to displace Moscow Mitch. THAT was his target and goal. Ooooops.  IMO, McConnell saw this a long time before he commented that Trump's weak candidates couldn't get elected. (I paraphrase, but Mitch was smacking down Rick Scott as much as he was Trump.)

    Slightly OT: A recent poll puts Trump seriously ahead of  DeSantis (by 18 points) but DeSantis is closing the gap – he picked up 11 points after the election. Factor in that  DeSantis hasn't declared and Trump hasn't been charged with a crime.  When both of those are historical facts, I think this will close to single digits between Trump and DeSantis.

    • I was at one time baffled that Rick Scott, knowing seniors are a huge voting bloc in FL, could put out a plan that calls for the sunsetting of social security and Medicare every five years.  You'd think that would be political suicide.  I believe it has dawned on some of them that even though the target of ending the program is "those people" some of them could be caught up as well.

      This quote explains it very well:

      The salient fact of American politics is that there are fifty to seventy million voters each of [whom] will volunteer to live, with his family, in a cardboard box under an overpass, and cook sparrows on an old curtain rod, if someone would only guarantee that the black, gay, Hispanic, liberal, whatever, in the next box over doesn’t even have a curtain rod, or a sparrow to put on it.”

      Republicans are making that guarantee, in code and in some instances explicitly, which of course is about as worthless as a three dollar bill.  But for those white seniors, all that matters is they people they're taught to hate get hurt, and they don't care if they suffer some collateral damage.

  3. I have noticed Rick Scott is standing or sitting behind Herschel in every picture. He seems to be Walker's minder.

    Florida really produces the slime doesn't it.

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