“I love Peyton Manning and, in fact, if Peyton Manning ran for any office in Tennessee, he could win by a landslide,” Duncan said. That’s a big endorsement coming from the longest-serving Tennessean on Capitol Hill. It’s also not the first time Manning’s name has been floated for office.
After Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced his plans to retire from office last year, Manning’s name was floated as a replacement. But Corker, who said it was “possible” at the time that Manning would run, has since given Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) his lukewarm support.
Over the years, Manning has contributed thousands of dollars to several GOP candidates, including Jeb Bush’s campaign for the White House. The former National Football League quarterback golfed with President Trump last summer, a sign to some that the former Indiana Colts and Denver Broncos player was dipping his toe into Republican politics. But Manning himself dispelled those rumors.
“Look, I certainly have an interest in politics and in our country,” Manning said in an interview last September. “I just have zero interest in being a politician.”
Even Duncan admitted that suiting up for the marble halls of Congress might be the wrong play for Manning.
“He’s made so much money off his football career,” Duncan said, “that it would be a step down for him to be elected to some office.” There’s also the matter of how divisive the political arena has become in recent years.
“No matter what side you end up on, you have to take some pretty controversial stances,” Duncan continued. “And there’s a lot more anger and hatred in politics today then probably ever before.”