It’s not unusual to see famous lending their name to the campaigns of Democratic candidates, but celebrity endorsements of Republicans is by far not the norm. In fact, if you lived in the past – say, 2000 or so – and I visited you in a time machine from the future and told you that celebrity endorsements were a feature of a Senate campaign in Alabama, you would probably have me institutionalized!
But this is post-2016 America, and apparently anything goes in the GOP. In the race to replace Republican Senator turned Attorney General Jeff Sessions, two of the biggest candidates are benefitting from some star power.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump threw his hat into the ring, endorsing Luther Strange, who is currently filling the position after Sessions’ departure for the Cabinet.
Senator Luther Strange has done a great job representing the people of the Great State of Alabama. He has my complete and total endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2017
Not only does Strange have the weight of the POTUS behind him, but Trump also has the considerable following that only a celebrity who had a life in the spotlight before politics. Trump fans – and Luther Strange fans – can view it as a double-barrelled endorsement.
On the other hand, Judge Roy Moore is basking in the glow of an endorsement from none other than Chuck Norris.
“Judge Roy Moore is the real deal: He’s tough, tested, and has a spine of steel,” Mr. Norris, who previously endorsed Mr. Moore’s successful 2012 race for chief justice, said in a news release Monday, a local CBS affiliate reported.
“The Washington establishment knows they won’t be able to count on him, but Alabama voters can,” Mr. Norris said. “Judge Moore has never backed down from standing for what is right, and that’s exactly what he’ll do in the U.S Senate. That’s why the Washington establishment is spending millions trying to defeat Judge Moore.”
The “Walker, Texas Ranger” star said Mr. Moore “always” puts principles over politics, and said he will work to protect Americans’ First and Second Amendment rights, as well as “our constitutional rights to life.”
Mr. Moore returned the praise, saying, “Chuck Norris is exactly the kind of guy you want on your side,” CBS reported.
I’ll let you write your own Chuck Norris jokes here…
For so many years, conservatives haven’t really cared what celebrities think about the candidates they’re interested in. But we’re in the Donald Trump era where the clout of the famous carries some weight and folks like Kid Rock are running for office (I still can’t get over that one). Maybe this is a blip in history on which we’ll all look back and laugh, or it could be the new normal in Republican politics. Either way, the star-studded attention on the Alabama Senate race is pretty fascinating.