(…and Casey Cagle, too)
“I think weâ€™d all be better off if Jerry Keen was in, and RR/CC were out.”
Erick, God bless his soul, made me promise, before I became a contributor, that Iâ€™d never talk about Ralph Reed, Casey Cagle, Bill Stephens, or Karen Handle. Initially, I had no desire to, or intention of doing so. However, this morning, I twisted his arm into releasing me from that promise, so my purpose in this post is to offer some insight on the SofS and LG races. However, I think it might be from a different perspective than what weâ€™re used to.
First of all, it seems, at this point, that everything to date between RR and CC has been a contest to see has the fewest weaknesses, rather than who has the most strengths. Essentially, then, the voters of Georgia (in the Republican primary, at least), are being pushed to decide an election based on weaknesses, rather than strengths. It would appear each candidate is gingerly tiptoeing around talking about real issues (see Erickâ€™s post and Jim Gallowayâ€™s article on the AJC). My thoughts? Finally. Itâ€™s about time. My bone to pick with the Cagle Camp is that they apparently havenâ€™t been talking about issues, and that even as they introduce issues now, their concepts are potentially divisive, as Erickâ€™s analysis correctly shows. My beef with the Reed camp is that while they seem to have been some quiet work behind the scenes, theyâ€™re not talking about it. Theyâ€™ve got the same problem as Sonny. Done some good things, yup, but theyâ€™re doing you NO good when the voters donâ€™t know about them, talk about them, and compliment you on them. Contrary to the Biblical principle, in politics, good deeds are only good if the voters know about them.
My thoughts? I think weâ€™d all be better off if Jerry Keen was in, and RR/CC were out. Yup. You heard me. I remember the suspense that lasted a couple of days. Ralph had begun making his rounds at the Capitol, as quietly as possible, and Casey was talking it up in the chamber, and word was still out as to whether House Majority Leader Jerry Keen would be running for Lt. Governor. I finally got the phone call as I was watching the monitor outside the chamber. â€œI just talked to Jerry. Heâ€™s out.â€? I have to admit, I was quite chagrined.
I agree both candidates have excellent qualifications. Casey has policy experience, government background, and he knows the system. Ralph has policy experience, he knows how to manage money, heâ€™s an excellent entreprenuer with proven ability to build organizations and turn a profit…At any rate, both candidates have served as a leader in the GOP when our party was still in the minority in Georgia, and I believe would both appreciate the value of preserving our corporate majority. Casey has an uphill battle: raising money, being a Senator, fighting RRâ€™s money…Ralph has a campaign outline largely labeled â€œdamage control.â€? The world, it seems, is out to get him. Not necessarily that itâ€™s right, itâ€™s just reality. Ralph is going to have trouble getting on the offensive while he stays on the defense as a matter of necessity. While both candidates have much to offer the people of Georgia, both come with large amounts of â€œbaggageâ€? pulling them down (I use that term loosely).
Iâ€™d rather have a candidate whoâ€™s not bogged down in D.C. politics, not bogged down in a group that is largely separated from the leadership of the current Republican establishment, someone who would be willing to resign his legislative position in order to run full time, someone who can propose a vision for the people of Georgia instead of constantly having to defend his record.
I think we call that wishful thinking. Thatâ€™s my utopia. Hereâ€™s my reality. Iâ€™m not endorsing any candidate, or stating for whom Iâ€™ll vote. Iâ€™m simply saying what I believe to be the writing on the wall: Casey is going to have a very tough time beating Ralph. He can. Ralphâ€™s weaknesses have been revealed, although the greatest ones are not the most obvious. If Cagle can recognize, prioritize, and capitalize on those, he can win. However, I donâ€™t foresee that happening. His plate is full. From what I understand, his consultant is also handling several other prominent races. Theoretically, theyâ€™re both going to be stretched pretty thin. Mayhap it will be too thin to be able to fully take Reed to the â€œmat.â€? If the election were held tomorrow, I’d call it for Reed. However, given that we’re still just under a year out from the decision, there is definitely an ability to change that outcome.
In other words, more power to both of them. Iâ€™ll work for whomever comes out of the primary alive.
Just my two centsâ€¦