Is the Governor in trouble and other random thoughts

Many are shocked at how quickly Cathy Cox has outflanked Mark Taylor in money and endorsements. It still remains to be seen whether Georgians will elect a woman governor. Is Mark Taylor finished? I do not think there is a chance he will fall back and run for reelection.

Many Republican legislators are worried about our governor. It has less to do with Cox, though there is concern, than it does with what has been a rather lackluster first term and a governor’s office staff that is young, inexperienced, and at times arrogant.

So where do we go from here? What should the legislature do during the next session and in the run-up to the election next year? How can we save Sonny’s rear-end? And do you concur with the conventional wisdom that the House and Senate are safe?

And here’s another question. Sonny wants to change the budget so that it is harder for all of us to bring resources back to our districts. The Democrats knew how to run the state and how to reward their faithful lieutenants. While I’m all for controlling and reducing state spending, is his budget approach the right way to go? In other words, he wants to control the spending of legislators, but I’ve not seen as much attention as I would like to controlling the spending of state agencies. Does he have it backwards?

Your thoughts?


  1. GOPGrassroots says:

    Perdue Extends Lead Against Georgia Democrats

    (Angus Reid Global Scan) – Republican Sonny Perdue could be re-elected in the Peach State, according to a poll by Strategic Vision. At least 51 per cent of respondents in Georgia would vote for the current governor in head-to-head contests against two prospective Democratic rivals.

    Perdue has acted as Georgia’s governor since January 2003. The former state senator defeated Democrat incumbent Roy Barnes in the November 2002 election with 52 per cent of the vote, becoming the first GOP member to head the state’s government in 130 years.

    The next election is scheduled for November 2006. Perdue holds a six per cent lead over state secretary Cathy Cox, and a 12 per cent advantage over lieutenant governor Mark Taylor.

    Support for the current governor increased by two points against both Democrats since May.

    Polling Data

    If the election for governor were held today, would you support Sonny Perdue, the Republican or (the Democratic candidate)?

    First Option

    Aug. 2005
    May 2005
    Feb. 2005

    Sonny Perdue (R)

    Cathy Cox (D)

    Second Option

    Aug. 2005
    May 2005
    Feb. 2005

    Sonny Perdue (R)

    Mark Taylor (D)

  2. Rebel says:

    Yes, he is in trouble. The question is does he know it and/or does his “young and inexperience staff” know it?

    He has problems with GOP legislators (esp. in the House). Do they want him to come campaign with them in their districts? Maybe that’s why they seem to be staying away.

    If we have another SB 5 and HB 218 session, I’m not so sure about the Senate and House. Otherwise, it holds and increases.

  3. waterboy says:

    Save his rear-end? You’ve got to be kidding. Governor Perdue has lead our great state through a tax revenue period that left other states in the dark….not to mention the rebound in revenues the past several months. He put family values on the front burner where they belong, cut goverment spending, created a better business environment across the state, enhanced or created programs that make the state fiscally responsible and has worked over-time to make himself available to the public. Oh yeah, he CUT TAXES (whine about the sin taxes if you wish, but some folks just have to have something to whine about).

    Cathy Cox and Mark Taylor are fantastic candidates – to believe otherwise is foolish. Their strong polling should encourage Republicans to work harder to reflect the truth about Perdue’s service to Georgians. The Dems aren’t going to just sit there – nor should they. Does Governor Perdue deserve a second term? I say HELL YES, but we have to make it happen. Wishing upon a star surely won’t get it done.

  4. Hammertime says:

    Nobody should underestimate Perdue or his staff. There is NEVER any enthusiasm 14 months before an election. His staff is improving and legislature is working more closely with him than appears. Schrenko or Byrne wouldn’t have beat Barnes. Isakson and others took a pass in 2002. The race won’t be easy – and it shouldn’t be – be the swing voters will look at the economy, the reforms, sound/steady management and re-elect Perdue.

  5. Chris says:

    I keep hearing all this stuff about Perdue’s staff being arrogant, rude or whatever. I’m sorry, but I don’t think thats gonna matter one lick to the average voter. Sure it might grate on some GOP insiders, but its not like they are going to run out and vote for Cox in July. The only place it may hurt him is in fundraising, but I think he can make that up using his incumbency.

    Perdue needs to focus on how much better Georgia is vs the rest of the US, and highlight that is was his stewardship that got us out of the downturn before most other states our size.

    And I think reigning legislator spending will play well to the fiscally responsible voters.

  6. Hissy Fit says:

    Chris: tell that to the people that Bobby Kahn pissed off when he was the COS for Barnes. Staff reflects on the Governor. The average citizen may not know that but the people in power in the counties and cities do. Do you want a bunch of sheriffs and mayors mad because your staff pissed them off? I don’t think so.

  7. Booray says:

    I personally agree with reigning in the pork barrel spending. We complained about it for years when the Dems were in charge and we should be consistent now that we hold the purse strings, especially since we are the party of fiscal discipline. I also believe it is the right thing to do.

    I also think “bringing home the bacon” is an overrated political asset, particularly in typical Republican districts. By definition, most Republican voters are self-sufficient and are unaffected by government spending programs/projects.

  8. Tater Tate says:

    I am worried about the Governor down here in south GA. Some of our poorer or rural counties that have been trending Repuiblican do need financial help from time to time from their legislators. They were used to getting that from their Democrat reps and it is being noticed. I agree that spending in the district is different than controlling waste in those huge bureaucracies in Atlanta. Helping your district is what many folks expect from their legislators. Maybe it is different in large prosperous areas, but they need to remember the rest of the state.

    I still think Sonny can get a second term, but he needs some seasoned help, not all those 20-something year old know-it-alls that seem to be protecting him. I am worried about the teachers and seniors. In my areas they are expressing concern about the Governor. But maybe my biggest concern is that the base is just not excited right now. It can change and I think it will, but there’s work to be done.

  9. GAWire says:

    I like and support Governor Perdue wholeheartedly! I have supported him since before anyone even knew he was running for Gov and I will continue to support him, even though there have been some things in his administration that I don’t necessarily agree with.

    So, with that being said, if I sound negative, please realize that I am not speaking against Sonny, but the more I see some of the operatives in action, I have to say that I have a problem with some of the things they are doing.

    First of all, quit posting your poll numbers on PP and get them out to the media. No offense to EE and the others at PP, but this isn’t exactly earned media. Also, a basic item about poll results: if you believe they are good, let the numbers speak for you. If you are having to defend them, then they are not good.

    Second of all, quit posting on a political blog. Leave the unprofessional, unwitty, uninformed comments to we folks that don’t have a sitting Governor on the verge of being a former-Governor to re-elect.

    The biggest problem that I have seen from GOP insiders in GA is that they think this race is in the bag. If you asked me today, I would say that the Gov is going to win reelection; however, that is only assuming he has a professional, efficient campaign and state Party behind him doing the basics. If you think that for a minute those poll numbers are great and if you think the positive feeling you get from them will remain, you are mistaken.

    Chris is correct that the Gov’s arrogant, rude staff is not going to hurt him, b/c no one really cares about that and people know who they are voting for. But, if they neglect the basics and assume this race is in the bag, then they (and the rest of us) will be sorely dissappointed the second week of November next year. Trust me, I have seen it happen before.

    We are still a long ways out, though, and momentum will most likely change numerous times before it is all said and done, but I just want to make sure the Team has their focus in the right place.

    I am not trying to lecture them or anything, but when I am seeing poll numbers that really aren’t that great in defense of the Gov on a political blog, I start to wonder. Sometimes humbling the folks on the campaign a little can be a good thing early on, just so they know there is still a lot of work to do.

  10. GAWire says:

    I also would like to comment on one other thing, and I would imagine some folks might object to this.

    NEVER, NEVER, NEVER cry in front of the people you lead. I know that the Governor crying was in NO WAY a political ploy and I believe he was honestly and deeply saddened by that situation, as all of us were.

    However, he is our leader here in GA, and even though some people will say that was nice and sensitive of him, or that he connected with Georgians and the military families, he must first show us that he is strong and will lead us through these tough times. I would never want to politicize this issue, but this is something that I have noticed about Sonny’s leadership.

    That conference even made me tear up b/c my heart goes out to ALL OF THOSE THAT SERVE IN THE MILITARY AND THEIR BRAVE FAMILIES THAT ARE LEFT BEHIND, but people also want to see that our Governor is strong and courageous in this tough time and is doing what is right for the state of GA. There is a lot of emotional stress that comes with the responsibility of being a leader, but we need to see that that person can handle it, and make the best decisions for us, regardless of the push-and-pull on his/her emotions. They don’t have to be made of steel, but their persona can really affect the way we feel about the current state of things, including our safety, security, the economy, etc.

    This is also an issue that many have discussed when talking about what it would be like if a woman was elected President. What would many Americans think if a woman in a high leadership position was crying on TV?

    Moreover, what would we think if President Bush went on TV and was crying while meeting with victims families? Would that make us feel like our leaders are doing everything to proactiveley protect us and take care of the situation? I don’t see how anyone could have held back the tears after 9/11 when the President was standing on the firetruck, talking to folks in NYC, but even fighting back tears, he showed leadership, courage, resolve and a sense of dedication that comforted all of us.

    Again, I’m not trying to politicize this issue, and I am not trying to sound macho tough or anything, but this is an issue that sometimes needs to be addressed, and it certainly is something that is debatable on many sides.

    I know I am going to get a lot of flack for it, and yes, there are different sides to this and every situation, but I am just stating a fact of holding a leadership position. So, let me have it . . .

  11. GAWire says:

    It wasn’t even a question whether or not WJC was crying as a political move or not. That is a distinct difference. Also, during and after the Lewinsky ordeal, he appeared the weakest and most vulnerable than any other time. So weak, in fact, that he felt he should bomb Iraq in order to make himself LOOK stronger, even though we all saw through that as well.

    Statistics have always shown that public officials or leaders crying shows weakness to those they lead. That is just something most officials, candidates, etc are prepped for.

  12. BillyTheKid says:

    Emotion, choking up, etc, is entirely different than open faced, shameless sobbing. Tightly reigned, although sincere, emotion and feeling is always a good thing to see in a leader. It becomes troublesome when it’s out of control. Or even more so when it’s made to look that way, and comes across as artificial.

  13. Tater Tate says:

    We’re worried about Sonny crying about our dead servicemen in Iraq? I think we have more serious things to worry about if we are to get him a second term.

    We need a good final year of the first term including:

    a tax cut for all Georgians (businesses got one last session)
    some education initiative (many teachers are not with us)
    imminent domain taken care of once and for all
    something on illegal imigration
    an obvious reduction in the size of the Atlanta bureaucracies
    a continuing economic turn around with some reserves built back up
    and yes let’s take care of our Republican legislators and their districts with a little pork

    That’s the ticket for a second term for our Governor.

    The stakes are too high for us to give up our long-fought-for victories as Republicans.

    And I might add, we need everyone on the team. I am very frearful that the RR/CC fight and now the SoS fight are going to leave large groups angry and upset so that we go into the general without the full commitments we will need to make it happen. I hope I am wrong about that, but if this board is any indication . . . .

    I’m going to work for all of our nominees.

  14. GAWire says:

    You are right that the internal GOP Primary battles are going to cause some folks to get angry, but that is why you have 4 months after Primary to rally the full GOP base (if you are running an efficient campaign). There is always division, though, and that division will be hightened during this cycle b/c of the differences b/t the camps.

    Still, all of those things you mentioned that this campaign will be about, should have all been addressed better in the past few years. Those are the things this SHOULD be about; however, realistically it is going to end up being more of a head-to-head political battle and less about the issues that matter.

    And the whole crying thing wasn’t meant to say that those are the main problems that everyone will be looking at . . . it’s simply an observation of a leadership style or decision, which can affect a lot of the other ways people lead.

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