Republican Darling Too Busy Lifting to Campaign, Bro

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Meet Josh Hawley, the GOP’s own real life Bobby Newport trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill’s Senate seat in Missouri. Judging from a Politico profile of his campaign out Tuesday, it seems Hawley, who is the Republican Party’s “golden boy” and front-runner in the primary, is too busy lifting weights at the gym to spend any time campaigning.


Hawley is a headache of the GOP’s own making. Impressed by the fact that he went to Stanford and Yale, the party made the 38-year-old state attorney general and totally ripped bro its top recruit to run against McCaskill.

But according to Politico, there’s just one problem—he’s lazy as fuck:

In interviews with more than two dozen senior Republican strategists, donors, lawmakers and local officials, Hawley was depicted as a lackadaisical candidate who has posted sluggish fundraising numbers, turned down interviews with conservative radio show hosts, and spurned traditional GOP events considered a rite of passage for a potential U.S. senator.

Hawley has been conspicuously absent from local events, radio show appearances, and primary debates—all things you would probably want to do if, I don’t know, you wanted people to vote for you. Instead he’s been snapped buying wine and pumping iron, often during the work day.

This has not escaped the attention of local outlets. One article in St. Louis’ Riverfront Times, published as legislators in Missouri rallied to impeach Governor Eric Grietens, is headlined: “Josh Hawley Works Out in Columbia While Jefferson City Burns.” And apparently, Hawley can’t even go to the gym without being an entitled brat—a source, who sent the Times pictures of Hawley working out, said that “he’s always on the phone” in the weight room, which “pisses people off.”


What are party stalwarts left to do but chastise Hawley like the disappointed aunts and uncles they are? One county GOP secretary told Politico that he was “very disappointed” that Hawley did not attend the Christian County Lincoln Day Dinner. My man even skipped a GOP Lincoln Day dinner in the county where he lives.

According to Politico, party leaders both inside and outside the state are desperately trying to fill Hawley’s lackluster fundraising numbers. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, and former Missouri governor and senator Kit Bond are all reportedly hitting donors up for money on behalf of the apathetic candidate while he scans the shelves for his favorite merlot.


But as the old adage goes: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t stop that horse from skipping crucial campaign events to rack ’em at the gym.

Clio Chang is a staff writer at Splinter.