The photograph seen around the world. The photo circulated after it was reported that Peyton Manning went golfing with President Donald Trump and Senator Corker at Trump International Golf Course over the weekend.
Peyton Manning and Sen. Corker joined POTUS at Trump Intl Golf Club today. Golf clubs spotted- no word on day's activity from WH. pic.twitter.com/yVPklecYQl
— Allie Malloy (@AlliemalCNN) June 4, 2017
Curious if the photographer was hiding on the course to get these photos or if a squirrel sent them in, but that is neither here nor there. After the photo was released the hoopla began on Peyton Manning’s potential presidential campaign in the near future.
In Mike Freeman’s weekly ‘10-Point Stance‘ column with Bleacher Report, he reached out to some front office talking heads to hear their opinion on the matter.
One AFC general manager responded to Freeman simply stating, “Peyton Manning will be president one day.”
As Freeman’s article states, “He suggested, as did others, that one day America could see a Republican nomination fight between Manning and Tom Brady. Another NFL voice even went so far as to predict a Manning-Brady faceoff against LeBron James for the presidency.”
As far-fetched as this seems, I wouldn’t have thought in a million years that Donald Trump would be the most powerful man of the free world, but that is where we find ourselves.
Former NFL punter, and now contributor with Barstool Sports, Pat McAfee, told B/R, “If he was to become a politician, I assume he’d be incredible at it. He’s a leader, a tireless worker, and a fabulous communicator. I don’t know much about politics, but I think if you have those three traits, you have a chance of being a real world-changer. I hope he gets into it someday; would be great for our country.”
Peyton Manning & Sen. Bob Corker of Tenn. depart the W.H. after President Trump returns from a 4.5 hour outing at Trump National Golf Club. pic.twitter.com/TeWn6KjsqO
— Al Drago (@Al_Drago) June 4, 2017
Now the presidency may be a little premature considering that other than commanding an offense, Manning hasn’t had to truly oversee something as massive as the United States of America.
But that isn’t to say that he wouldn’t run for local office and win in a landslide, setting up a presidential bid later in life.
Let’s take a brief look at some star athletes that later got involved in politics, and have been fairly successful in that world.
Jon Runyan was a very successful offensive linemen in the NFL. He started in 192 games, and, at the time, became the highest paid offensive linemen when the Philadelphia Eagles gave him a six-year contract worth $30 million. After he retired in 2009, he ran for New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district in 2010 and won the election. He was re-elected in 2012 but decided not to run again in 2014.
Kevin Johnson was a three-time NBA All-Star for the Phoenix Suns. In 2008, Johnson announced that he would run for mayor of Sacramento and won with 54 percent of the vote. In 2012, he won re-election with 58 percent of the vote. Johnson did not pursue a third term.
Steve Largent is probably the most heralded Seattle Seahawk of all time. The Hall of Famer continued his success off the field when he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for the state of Oklahoma in 1994. He remained the Republican representative in office until 2002.
Ken Dryden was elected to the National Hockey League Hall of Fame in 1983, his first year of eligibility. As a member of the Montreal Canadians, he was one of the most decorated goaltenders of all-time, while having a very short career. In a little over seven seasons, he won six Stanley Cups, five Vezina Trophies, five All-Star appearances, one Conn Smythe trophy, and the rookie of the year award. Later in life, Dryden was elected to Canadian Parliament and was named to the Cabinet as Minister of Social Development. He won re-election in 2006 and 2008 but eventually lost his seat in the 2011 federal elections.
Perhaps the biggest and greatest athlete to join the ranks of politicians is professional boxer, Manny Pacquiao. Pac-Man is a national treasure in the Philippines (much like Peyton Manning in the States), and so it was no surprise when he was elected to the House of Representatives to the 15th Congress of the Philippines in 2010. He was re-elected to the 16th Congress of the Philippines in 2013. In 2016, Pacquiao was elected to the Senate of the Philippines and chosen as the Chair of the Philippine Senate Public Works Committee.
But back to Manning. Peyton has been successful at pretty much everything that he has put his mind to. If politics is something he would like to get into I have no doubt that he would find success and a positive following.
Think of it this way. Whether you think Manning is the greatest quarterback of all time can be debated, but there is no argument that he is one of the most respected players to ever put on the pads. When his name is brought up players’ faces beam. Coaches’ faces beam. Referee’s faces beam. Media faces beam. He has been called by everyone a “student of the game.” His preparation was second to none, and the product that he put on the field demonstrated that.
This is where the idea of a Manning presidential ticket is actually fathomable. If he wanted it, his preparation would be second to none. Do you really think that with his knowledge and his love of studying, he couldn’t grasp the American Economy or Foreign Policy? Most politicians don’t have a damn clue what they are talking about. Gary Johnson just ran for president and he couldn’t name ONE world leader that he respected. Do you think Peyton Would ever be that unprepared on the world’s biggest stage? This is a guy that knows every reporter by name and respectfully asks how their spouses and families are doing.
Here is something that cannot be said about pretty much any politician. He would be respected by all of his peers. Whether you disagree with his political stance on issues, you would be compelled to listen to what he had to say, praying that he would belt out just one “OMAHA!”
If the circus of the 2016 presidential election has taught me anything it is that, truly, anyone can be president in this great country. Love it or hate it, that is what makes America remarkable.
2020 may be too soon to pencil him in but look for the already legendary Peyton Manning to add to his American Celebrity in the coming future.