INDIANAPOLIS — "Peyton Manning will be President one day."
That's what one AFC general manager recently told BleacherReport.com's Mike Freeman.
And, no, he doesn't mean President of an NFL franchise; he means President of the United States of America.
In an interesting time in which all kinds of celebrities are rumored to be throwing their hat in the ring for the 2020 election, perhaps "President Manning" doesn't sound all that ridiculous.
Here would be the pros of such an endeavor, should Manning ever consider it:
• He already knows what it's like to be the leader of a team trying to accomplish major goals. He has been "political" in distributing work among his teammates, and his production was the best — or among the best — ever seen in his field.
• He is already well-versed in handling the media, and making speeches? Come on — he wouldn't be picked to host the 2017 ESPYS if the network didn't feel he couldn't handle it.
• He already has support for a run at the White House, as former teammate 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."
• If a run in 2020 is too brash, he could almost certainly win any election for any position in Tennessee, where he became a college football legend for the Volunteers and continues to be one of the state's most cherished (adopted) sons. Perhaps a couple terms as Senator would propel him into a Presidential campaign in 2032? "He is a Tennessee hero," Tennessee GOP chairman Scott Golden told The Commercial Appeal earlier this year. "And if he should ever choose to use his legendary determination, knowledge and drive in politics, he would be an extremely formidable candidate."
So where did all of this chatter come from? Well, earlier this month, Manning was spotted on the White House lawn — with golf clubs in tow — with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, where they were reportedly headed to meet with President Donald Trump at his golf club nearby in Northern Virginia.
And while the visit certainly doesn't mean Manning is going to dive into politics anytime soon, it certainly got many re-visiting the idea, which had been a popular question for the quarterback and his teammates and coaches during his playing days in the NFL.
Many are still wondering what Manning will really pursue now that his quarterbacking days are over. He has every right to take his time and juggle his options — in the meantime, being a guest host on TV shows, being a featured roaster on Comedy Central, continuing his efforts as a terrific salesman, etc., are all doing just fine for him — and he recently decided to spend some time joining Riddell as a strategic advisor.
And as for a career in politics, Manning himself said in March that he had "no interest in the political world."
Then again, politicians have been known to say one thing and then do another from time to time.
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