(Photo: Wildfire Weekend)
"Duck Dynasty" has it all – four bearded rednecks, 9.6 million viewers, a new ratings record for A&E, and … a Congressman? Just in time for the fourth season's premiere Wednesday night, speculation broke this week that the CEO of Duck Commander, Willie Robertson, might run for a seat in the United States House of Representatives.
Rodney Alexander (R-La.) will retire from Congress at the end of September to work in Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's cabinet. The Washington Examiner quoted "a key outside advisor to House GOP leadership" as saying, "My boys want to run Willie Robertson for the seat."
Despite this stated desire, party officials expressed doubt as to their ability to convince him to run, the Examiner reported. "Why would a multi-millionaire, TV sensation give up that work to run for a congressional seat?"
Nevertheless, Robertson has not shut down the idea. In an interview with KNOE 8 News in Monroe, La., home to the Commander companies, family spokesman Al Robertson kept the possibility open. "I don't think Willie will be running," he said, "but with him, you never know!"
When asked Tuesday if he would run on Fox News' show "The Five," Robertson said, "I'm kinda busy right now, I've got a lot of stuff going on." In a light bout of humor, he commented that he learned from people on Twitter that he was running for the seat. "It was news to me," he said.
Refusing to commit one way or the other, the star CEO did say that he was offended by an offhand comment President Barack Obama made in April 2008. In a now-infamous moment, then-Candidate Obama said, "People get bitter, they cling to their guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them." Robertson, whose family is often seen on the show hunting and ending each episode of "Duck Dynasty" with prayer, confirmed Fox News' suspicion that the comment did offend him.
When asked which Republican contender he favored for the 2016 Presidential election, Robertson mentioned Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. "He's my man," he said.
Due to the Wednesday night premiere of Season 4, neither Willie nor a spokesman for the family responded to requests for comment from The Christian Post.
Republican strategist Emily Zanotti provided a voice against Robertson's candidacy. "He's a recruiter's dream: an adept, educated company CEO with a solid foundation, a smart wife and a handful of adorable children, who has already proven he has widespread appeal," she admitted. But if the party chooses to run him, Zanotti argued, all the family secrets will become political, and the show would be ruined.
"Duck Dynasty is a show about everything the GOP claims makes America great," the strategist wrote, "from a strong family structure that provides a kind of intimate support that a government never can, to the golden opportunities the American experience offers to those who believe in their own ingenuity and a lot of hard work, to the spoils that come from celebrating your own freedom."
Zanotti signed off, claiming the show is a better weapon than Congressman Robertson would be, and Washington would prove a poor fate for such a talented businessman and actor.
Following Alexander's retirement announcement, other contenders also emerged, including State Sen. Neil Riser and Alexander's chief of staff, Adam Terry. The seat is rated "safe, Republican."