By “Matt Lewis & The News” guest blogger R.J. Moeller
Willie Robertson is the Duck-Commander-in-Chief of the most popular reality show on television these days – Duck Dynasty. Having mastered the swamps of West Monroe, Louisiana, some in the GOP are hoping that the bearded hillbilly-turned-CEO millionaire will take his talents to the District of Columbia.
From The Washington Examiner:
A new political dynasty might soon be joining the Kennedys, Clintons and Bushes: Duck Dynasty, that is.
Some key Republican operatives are eager to woo one of the hit show’s stars–Willie Robertson–to run for the seat given up by retiring Republican Rep. Rodney Alexander.
Alexander, expressing frustration with divided government, is going to work in Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s cabinet. He will leave at the end of September and a special election will be held to fill the open seat.
Now, I don’t claim any expertise on the inner-workings of Louisiana state politics, but my wife and I did recently stop in at the Robertston family’s Duck Commander Warehouse in West Monroe and what I can tell you is this: those folks know how to market themselves and move merchandise. They are entrepreneurs in every sense of the word, and they’ve got a great thing going between the TV shows, t-shirt sales and manly beards. In Louisiana, Willie Robertson is top mallard on the pond.
Then there’s the prospect of life in our nation’s capital…
No beards (at least not those kinds of beards). Not a lot of pro-entrepreneurial sentiments floating about that ideological quagmire. And the only TV shows filmed in D.C. are boring, re-hashed talking head fodder good for little more than Sunday morning blog-posts (which is when the Robertson clan would be at church anyway).
GOP officials said while there is an interest in getting Robertson to run, they doubted that they can get him to leave his TV and CEO perch. Others said that Washington is often too fast to reach out to celebrities because they often turn out to be poor candidates.
“Yup, I think it is a D.C. thing right now,” said a GOP official, who added, “Why would a multi-millionaire, TV sensation give up that work to run for a congressional seat?”
Exactly. The question is not just “Why would a millionaire TV star want to leave his flourishing life for politics?”, but at this point, why would any talented, well-adjusted American want to enter the soul-crushing fray of national politics?
In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Jimmy Stewart’s beloved character went to Washington as a gullible, idealistic boy from Missouri who ran up against a political machine much smarter and more powerful than he anticipated. But in this scenario, I’d take Willie Robertson’s acumen, prowess and influence over almost anyone’s in Washington. He and his facial hair are too good for that town.
We no longer send our best, brightest and most successful to the Beltway for limited stints of service to the country –as the Founders had hoped. We now immediately equate “wealthy” with “talented” and cram whichever consultant-approved, poll-tested empty (pant)suit with the least amount of “Gotcha” moments in his/her past into a congressional seat for as many decades as are possible. No one really wants them when they get there, and the only things that send them home are made-up tales of “discontentment with divided government” (aka “I don’t think I can win” or “someone has embarrassing Twit pics of me”), humiliating losses on Election Day, or death.
No, Willie Robertson should not run for Rodney Alexander’s seat. As a young man, Willie’s dad Phil gave up the chance at an NFL career because it conflicted with duck hunting season.
You really think sparring with Madame Pelosi and tanning with John Boehner is going to lure Phil’s son away from West Monroe if throwing touchdown passes to Lynn Swann couldn’t wean his old man off his affection for water fowl?
R.J. Moeller is a blogger, podcast host and CEO of the media/entertainment company Hashtag Productions LLC