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Posts Tagged ‘saxby’

David Perdue, Jack Kingston

Georgia primary voters should think long and hard before next month’s runoff election.  I give myself credit for being a moderate Democrat who voted in the Republican primary because that’s where the action was in this generally red state.  So, I get to vote in the runoff and important questions must be addressed.  For the record, my interests focus on improving our state more that supporting either major political party because parties are mostly interested in power and control.

  1. Will Jack Kingston explain his comments about school kids working for free lunch?  Readers of this blog know I like Jack but that was some dirty dirty design to secure the nut vote.  Shall we humiliates children who were born into families of modest means?   Does the same apply to summer lunch programs?  Is that for high school and middle school only are will 7 year olds be mopping also?  I will say that Democrat leaders on the national level want Kingston in November because that one comment could tip the election by driving young voters to the polls.  “He wants my little sister to clean food trays!?”

 

  1. Are Michelle Nunn and David Perdue Obama-like in their newness?  I am about to hit you with a new angle on the Senate race: because Nunn and Perdue are new to the political arena they don’t have a record of statements and actions like Jack Kingston now and the Clintons in 2008.  Hillary Clinton might have made a better president (to some) in 2008 but we would have never known because the conservatives would have rallied behind Romney to keep the Clintons out of the White House.  Smart Republicans know that Perdue would be safer.

 

  1. How do we want the world to see our state?  I have a problem with President Obama.  While he is still my guy, he speaks of the USA that should be rather than the USA that is.  He see a fair, positive colorfree nation and that simply isn’t reality.  Ole Jack Kingston is similar to the average Georgian and me but doesn’t attract new industry.  David Perdue is a corporate baller who can represent an international city like Atlanta.  Chambliss and Isakson are balanced gentleman and Perdue seems senatorial like them.  Kingston has done a fine job representing southeast Georgia but we should remember that Port of Savannah funding might have been delayed because Jack couldn’t or wouldn’t get the crazies on the far Right to dial down the anti-Obama vitriol.  Perdue’s handlers are messing up because they should be spinning his time at Dollar General as a job creator in my community.  Oh, we love those baby Wal-marts on every corner in forgotten neigborhoods.

 

  1. Is Hillary Clinton reading Nunn’s putt?  In golf, players watch their playing partner’s putts to judge the greens and the line.  I think Team Hillary is watching the 2014 performance of moderate Democrat women candidates to craft their 2016 approach to the South and to gauge which states are winnable.  A Michelle Nunn win puts Georgia on the table for Hillary because some GOP women put gender over party—that’s why they should have selected Karen Handel.

 

  1.  Would the Democrats prefer Kingston or Perdue in November?  I think Dems want Kingston for the school lunch thing and the southern drawl.  Yes, I am country my dam self but Jack pours that southern twang on like Karo syrup to the delight of rural voters.  But, when Dem voters in Georgia six biggest cities pay attention in the fall,  it will be on and popping because he sounds like an overseer on Roots.

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During primary season, the poll workers shouldn’t ask if I am a Republican or a Democrat in Georgia.  I am a realist who knows that there are very few contested elections in our divided state.  I am going to say “I will take the Republican ballot” but have that “I’m no Republican” look on my face.  Wise guys like me simply want to be where the action is or shall I say want our votes to have some meaning.

 

Democrat voters could save that little gas money by staying home in my area because Michelle Nunn will be the U.S. Senate nominee and Jason Carter will get the governor nod.  In Albany Georgia on the other hand, voters should take the Dem ballot to put professor Aaron Johnson on the school board—he is good people and smart as a whip.

 

Dems voting in the GOP primary could a) select a Republican who the Dem would have an easier time defeating in November or b) select a Republican who would respectfully debate issues across the aisle like the current two Georgia Senators.  In other words, pick the less crazy Republican because there is a strong chance the GOP will keep that seat in Congress.

 

Most Republicans in Georgia smiled and laughed when the nutty segment of their party talked about candidate Obama, President Obama, his wife, his kids, his momma, his daddy and his birthplace.  But, the same folks are surprised that the White House isn’t quickly putting funds into the deepening of the Port of Savannah, a project that means over 200,000 jobs indirectly in the South.  I am not saying the White House is in payback mode but I appreciate Senator Chambliss, Senator Isakson, and Rep. Austin Scott for keeping the debates fiscal and having some degree of respect for the office of the presidency.  Georgia’s congressional Dems generally respected the Bushes.

 

So, I am a moderate who will be voting for the coolest cat in the U.S. Senate Republican primary and the coolest cat in the Georgia state Senate primary.  Of course, there is no Democrat running for Senate District 13 so the primary winner gets the position.

 

(The following is intended for Black voters only)  When the Republicans win a position with few votes from our community, they usually ignore said community on that To the Victor The Soils style.  (Non Black voters please rejoin the post now.)

 

All kidding aside, there is a young man from my county running for state senate and people from my community have been friendly with him since high school or before.  But, I shouldn’t public say that I am voting for him because the purists in the GOP will get ticked that their selection process is tainted whose who haven’t taken the Red Team blood oath.

 

Of the other hand, Mrs. Vivian Childs is running for congress against my old boss Rep. Sanford Bishop and I wish I lived in that district because I would welcome the opportunity to vote for a GOP primary candidate who would have a robust and healthy debate on the issues with SDB.  While SDB will likely win against either GOP candidate, Childs campaign serves as a testing ground for improving the conservative approach to new demographics (People of color).  She might lose the battle but help nation win the war against partisan ignorance.

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The race to replace Georgia U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss is going to be better than good.  Numbers say that it should be a cakewalk for the G.O.P. but numbers can be wrong.  To me, the recent entry of Dem. Candidate Michelle Nunn is a test for a moderate woman in a changing South.  Nunn approach could open the door to a sizable section of suburban GOP women for her and for Hillary Clinton.

Let’s be honest: Obama got great numbers among Black GOPers and I think Hillary will get as much as a third of the GOP women vote.  The Georgia congressional delegation is currently all-male and heaven knows that’s too much macho.  The Good Old Boys Club in the Georgia state legislature is the farm system or minor leagues for congressional candidates.  But, I could name half-dozen Black Georgia GOP women who could have won seats from Blue Dogs if there was an ounce of flex in the conservative movement (KB, HBA, VC, DH).  There isn’t a gram of flex with him and the Jon Huntsman types were ceremonially shown the door.  Who’s waiting for them outside the door?  Sam Nunn’s daughter.

I am about to miss use the literary device pun while looking at the Georgia Senate candidates but this should be fun.

Michelle Nunn- This lady has “none” of the traditional baggage of the struggling southern Dem Team and neither did her father.  When I worked in the Georgia congressional delegation, Senate Nunn marched to his own drummer.  He simply did what he thought was best for Georgia and the Dems are hopeful that the peach doesn’t fall too far from the tree.  While the Far Right is prepping to blast her with Obama-pinko liberal, we will have “none” of that because she is actually friends with the Bushes—not the Obamas.  Oh, the Tea Party will come hard but I don’t think this lady is a “nun.”  She is kin to former Rep. Carl Vinson so she must be tough if a relative has a freaking aircraft carrier named for him.

Jack Kingston- As a kid, we said “You don’t Jack Sh–.” Well, I can unfortunately report that Georgia might not have the pleasure of knowing Jack Kingston—the Jack I briefly knew.  When I worked on the Hill, I spend time hanging in Jack’s office because he had a staffer who was a personal friend of mine.  Okay, she was so easy on the eyes that I would go to events with them at the RNC Club or whatever their lair was called.  At the time, Senator Nunn ran the Georgia delegation and half of the GA Dems were more conservative than California Republicans.  As the Bard wrote, what’s in a name?

Anyway, I spend about 15 minutes talking with Jack Kingston alone one night at the RNC and he was (is) good people.  Politically, he can blast with both barrels but that is part of the game.  In Savannah, Blacks and Whites know and like Jack personally and my first assume is that Black Savannah and the radiating influence of Savannah State University could compel nice switch numbers for Jack in the primary.  Indications are that the whole GOP field is trying “out-Obama blast” each others and you know the bros can’t get with that.

Karen Handel- “You can’t handle the truth.” The truth about this candidate dumfounded me.  She grew up hard outside D.C. and attended Frederick Douglas High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Say what? Upper Marlboro is Black middle class heaven and she went to Doug.  During the governor’s race, I couldn’t believe that she didn’t play this race card because that would have been good for some nice numbers.  She was chairwoman of the Fulton County Commission but her “handlers” didn’t cultivate that potential crossover support.  During the governor’s race, Helen Block Adams really enjoyed her meeting with Handel but it seems that the Tea Party will burn anyone seen listening to moderates. So, she lost win leaving support on the ground.  That’s hard to handle.

Derrick Grayson- I have so much fun listening to Black GOP candidate Grayson because he is “Gray, Son.” The brother is in a grey area from which he blasts the ignorance of both sides.  But, we shouldn’t sleep on his style because he sounds like the oldheads in the barber shop who bring a conservative knowledge that the GOP doesn’t we have.

Paul Broun- Physician, heal thyself.  I am “appalled” by the craziness coming out of this doctor’s mouth.  This Tea Party darling is the key to this senate race.

The Key: Democrats should clear the field for Michelle Nunn; she gets zero primary opponents.  Then, Dems should vote in the GOP primary for Paul Broun because Nunn would beat the brakes off him in the general election.

The Second Key: Some really liberal Dem. candidate will run against Nunn in the primary and she will hone her skills and tune her campaign apparatus while showing contrast.  ala, Obama vs. Hillary.

Third Key: Michelle Nunn’s candidate helps Jack Kingston and Karen Handel because it drives folks away from flirting with Paul Broun.  With a push from the Senator Nunn, the Obamas and the Clintons, Nunn should beat any of these candidates if the GOP primary gets bloody.  There will be blood because Handel has already secured the campaign services of those behind the Kerry Swift boat thing.

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An old southern adage states “be careful what you say out loud.”  Everything you think isn’t supposed to be said when and where you think it—maybe it shouldn’t be spoken at all but it’s clearly understood.   I wanted to touch on a few of those “out loud” matters.

 
A leader in the Democratic Party of Georgia recently got in hot water for saying that the party must “clear the field” in next year’s primaries. Everyone knows that the Dems here are poorly organized.  I want to say out loud that Dems create policies that support people who don’t vote—oh, they can go to every local high school football game but they can vote on the regular.  Non-voting working folks have no right to complaint governmental actions and laws.  Hush.

 
The only hope Dems have in southern red states is to go into those legendary, smoke-filled backrooms and decide who their candidates should be without primary contests.  I forgot that people can’t smoke inside anymore but you get the point.

 
For U.S. Senate, Rep. John Barrow and Michelle Nunn are the best options but they have zero hope if they battle in the summer.  Actually, their only hope is that the GOP primary voters will select controversial Rep. Paul Broun.   I am not supposed to say this out loud but the Dems should switch over and vote for Broun in the primary because he would be the easier target in the general election.   The Obama machine would be in full force in November against Broun.  Money would pour into Georgia from sea to shining sea.

 
I am not supposed to say that I voted for GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss in the past because south Georgia regional interests (ag, military, transportation) are more important than party politics to me.  I can’t believe that GOP voters won’t admit that Rep. Sanford Bishop has their backs on these issues—dam it, say it out loud.  Oh, Bishop is the enemy and Broun is a conservative super hero.  Yeah, “Senator” Broun would likely ended most farm programs.

 
I am not supposed to say out loud that non-GOPers better consider voting for the best available candidate in the GOP primary because that is where the senator might be chosen.  Personally, I like candidates like Jack Kingston who- while being full-blooded conservative- have a history of explaining their views to those who vote against them.  That is called the democratic process.

 
Finally, I shouldn’t say out loud that we should cultivate the next crop of leaders now because waiting until they decide to retire is too late.  Who is next when Rep. John Lewis gracefully concludes that he has fought the good fight.  In southwest Georgia, the replacement for Rep. Bishop should be the next generation Black leader—someone who teaches about the limited role of government.  We have some folks in mind but we aren’t saying…out loud.

http://www.myajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/fearing-another-bruising-primary-democrats-seek-to/nXS7q/?icmp=ajc_internallink_textlink_apr2013_ajcstubtomyajc_launch

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My thoughts on the future of Black political centrists in the South have been two weeks and/or two decades in the making.   So, brace yourself for an unusual brainstorm.  The open U.S. Senate race in Georgia next year forces us to plot our best plan for representation.

 
Senator Saxby Chambliss is an establishment Republican and I have appreciated his service regarding the regional issues of agriculture, military and veterans.   Rep. Sanford Bishop, Rep. Jack Kingston, now Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and those who went to congress in the early 1990s worked together on issues of vital importance to the peach state.   In this Progressives vs. the Tea Party era, I miss that old school dialog.

 
For two weeks, I have been hearing that the Democrats won’t likely field a viable Senate candidate and the practical part of me says that moderate to conservative Georgia Dems could and should vote in the GOP primary next year to ensure that we don’t have a divider  representing our diverse state.

 
I was thinking about who is a “natural” Democrat or “natural” Republican last week and it made my head hurt.   While watching to the T.V. show TMZ, a story came on about Raspberry favoring of food.  It turns out that a food can be labeled as naturally Raspberry because it is natural and taste like Raspberry but it comes from the backside of a beaver. http://www.befoodsmart.com/blog/tag/raspberry-flavor/

 
That isn’t natural to me and it’s not natural to force everyone in a big state like Georgia into two political parties and expected them to naturally and neatly stay there.   A few years ago, the Georgia Dems lost two rising young stars to the GOP.   Ashley Bell of Gainesville and blogger Andre Walker of Atlanta were on CNN explaining their rationale and it seemed natural to me.   Before, they were my brothers and today they are still my brothers.   Walker once wished happy birthday on facebook to the naturalized American actress Charlize Theron, whom he considered an African-American because she is an American born in South Africa. Huh?

 
I personally like the No Labels political movement because we shouldn’t run away trying to put people neatly into boxes and categories. Like they say at church, we should look at a person’s “thoughts, words, and deeds.”

 
A Black conservative from the ATL told me yesterday that Rep. Tom Price looks good to him in the race for U.S. Senate.  I asked about his track record for explaining conservatism to non-conservatives and dude could say anything.   Remember, the wave created by the Tea Party doesn’t cotton well to conservatives talking with others without yelling.  Moderates and liberals are often viewed as the enemy.

 
Look, on Capitol Hill, I worked for Rep. Charles Hatcher, Rep. Don Johnson and Rep. Sanford Bishop and all three strongly insisted that we listened to and served everyone in the congressional district—not just the people who voted for them.   I was personal friends with a staffer in Rep. Kingston’s office and would hang after work with her at conservative functions because she was a natural hair wearing, smart Spelman College woman.   Yeah, Jack had a Spelman grad in a major position on his legislative team.   I talked with Kingston alone at a reception one night for 15 minutes and came away with an appreciation for his commitment to southern Georgia.   He mentioned that he promoted south Georgia colleges and universities during his time in the Georgia statehouse because students should get quality educations in our part of the state also.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/59464/october-18-2005/better-know-a-district—georgia-s-1st—jack-kingston

 
We would trip about Kingston going to political forums at Savannah State University without staff.   The guy loves the lively debate. Actually, he was the first member of congress to brave Stephan Colbert’s “Better Know a District” segment.   Because Kingston briefly lived in Ethiopia as a child, Colbert decided that he is an African American—like Charlize Theron.   There you have it; Jack Kingston is an African American who might run for U.S. Senate next year.   Some wiseacre is going to Kingston knows as much about the southern African American experience as my man President Obama.   I will leave that alone but he like knows more than most GOP candidates for Senate.

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Moderates need to use the coming Georgia U.S. Senate race as an opportunity to flex our “king making, scale tipping” muscles. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is an old school pro-business Republican rather than a new school pro-crazy drama starter. The far Right wants him gone and they want him to take any member of congress who talks with the other side with him.  No.

The extreme radical element of the GOP shouldn’t run Georgia or America. They are small in numbers yet vocal and crafty. Well, the reasonable center is huge and somewhat homeless regarding political parties. Since Georgia is a red state because the Democratic Party is poorly organized, Saxby’s replacement will likely be decided in a July primary rather than a November general election. Rep. Sanford Bishop, Rep. John Barrow or Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed could beat a Tea Party candidate but that is too risky.

Moderate Democrats must consider the possibility of swaying the Republican primary to a Saxby-like conservative. This move keeps a zealot out Georgia’s Senate office. Personally, I would pick Rep. Austin Scott or Rep. Jack Kingston because I want one of the two Senators to come from south Georgia and have a history of serving agriculture and military areas.

Since rural Georgia Democrats are as conservative as California Republicans, we can dig the whole no labels approach to governing—voting for a less bitter conservative would be easy.  We need solutions; we need peaceful dialog.  We need someone who will join with the Blue Dogs, Jon Huntsman, Barrack Obama, Condi Rice, Jeb Bush and Colin Powell to get about the business of fixing what is broken with our government and our mindsets.

Furthermore, candidacies for this Senate seat will likely open up U.S. House seats and I want to see some variety in the Georgia congressional delegation. A minority or woman in the Georgia congressional delegation from the GOP side would be peachy keen because someone should be at the table to say “enough with the silliness…let’s do the people’s work and govern.”

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The buzz around Georgia politics is that Eric Erickson of CNN and Red State might challenge Sen. Saxby Chambliss.  Saxby (he told us to call him that) was nice to me once a long time ago during a congressional ag staffers visit to Taylor County, Georgia, and I will never forget that.  He leaves when he is ready to go and if the far Right wants to push him for rebuffing his 20 year old tax pledge, their primary numbers can be replace by crossover moderates. 

Perhaps, Erickson of Bibb County could get the House of Representatives seat when Austin Scott exits for the U.S. Senate.  The polarization of the electorate that we have experienced in the last few years could be seen coming from a mile away.  I have always thought of Austin as a trendsetter who might be a great national leader and we are at a pivotal time when such leaders should emerge. 

Actually, the conservative movement would look better in my community if the recent election results moved them to listen to Republicans like Jeb Bush and Jon Huntsman.

The Democrats should start developing future Senate candidates closer to the middle modeled after Rep. Sanford Bishop and the Republicans should do the same with Austin in mind.

 Isakson and Chambliss are more statesmen at this point than politicians and that is a good thing.  I was thinking about the past, present and future Georgia congressional delegation while watching the legislative maneuvering in the movie Lincoln.  Austin Scott has that House seat on lock but he should function like a person who wants to win statewide in the future based on relationships and connections cultivated now.   What would old Abe do?

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