Two-time Super Bowl champ Peyton Manning’s name has been tossed into the political arena once again.
Retiring Rep. Jimmy Duncan, R-Tenn., recently told TMZ that Manning, a beloved son of the Volunteer State since his days at the University of Tennessee, could run for just about anything and win.
Manning led the Broncos to the NFL title with a 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
“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 NFL quarterback golfed with President Donald Trump last summer, a sign to some that the former Indianapolis 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.