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.