News from the President’s Event

Ok, let’s hear it … what happened at the event?  I am sure the campaigns will be releasing statements, but how about a recap for those of us who had to give up their tickets. 

The AJC made it sound as though it was a Bush-Sonny event, with a lot of other Party supporters there, but were there any endorsements or pseudo-endorsements? 

Update:  Here is the piece from the AJC about the President’s visit.  I would also like Bobby Kahn to join in the conversation to explain his analysis on this subject, and how the Democrats plan to spin this one.


  1. Beth says:

    W thanks all the candidates in the audience, then says we have 2 great people running for Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Ralph Reed.

    So much for any support for Ralph. Huge win for Cagle.

  2. Charlie says:

    What a slap in the face for Reed. The problem is that the people with Reed blinders on will say no big deal, the President couldn’t get engaged in a Lt. Gov. race. The reality is it was a big blow to Reed.

  3. Maurice Atkinson says:

    Darn, I knew I should have put money on this.

    His purpose in visiting Georgia was not to endorse anyone, but to support the Governor and the Republican Party in Georgia. For that Georgians should be grateful, and I am.

  4. Riddle me this:

    If the President didn’t mention Karen Handle, and Karen Handle was in the same room as Ralph Hudgens, who once ran for Congress in the 2nd district, who carved Athens into two districts, does that mean Gary Black or Brian Kemp was the winner tonight?

    I’m trying to decipher the cryptic inactions of the leader of the free world and how they affect what is clearly the most important race in that same free world (Republican Ag Comm primary). I need help!

  5. Maurice Atkinson says:

    “””””State Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Kahn said the president’s visit suggests that Perdue is “one of the nation’s most vulnerable Republican governors” in this year’s elections.””””

    This man is hallucinating.

  6. Beth says:

    Nice try on his part, he’d like to raise 10% of what was raised tonight at his event next week.

  7. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Cagle has the place stickered. Ralph had none.

    Bush mentioned Ralph, but only after saying that both candidates would be great fro Georgia.

    I helped park cars, very few Ralph stickers, alot of Cagle. Also supporters were on the corner waving Cagle signs. No Ralph supporters there either.

    Handwriting seems to be on the wall.

  8. Brian from Ellijay says:

    Its not like he had volunteers doing it, they just appeared, mainly by request.

    But I do not see why it would be inappropriate.

  9. Three Jack says:

    The only people who thought it inappropriate to wear stickers were those supporting Ralph. Once again the boy wonder was out witted by the Cagle team.

    Biggest winner is the GA GOP, one of the most well organized events in my memory with very few hiccups. Paul Bennecke, Marty Klein, Justin Tomczak, et al deserve mucho credit for gettin’ r done.

  10. Bull Moose says:

    Word is that the President described Cagle as a good man and then said Ralph Reed.

    I’d say that considering that Ralph was telling anyone and everyone that the President was going to endorse him and not only did he not endorse, but he recognized Cagle first, that it was a complete slap in the face and should be a clear message to those sitting on the fence.

    As well I hear that almost everyone sported a Cagle lapel sticker and you couldn’t find any real signs of Reed support.

  11. Look, this pro-Cagle spin is getting out of hand. The President recognizing both candidates is a win for BOTH sides. And the only people who were claiming that Bush was going to endorse Ralph Reed were Cagle’s people. It’s not a slap in the face to Reed and you’re just being helplessly biased if you believe that. Also, mentioning Cagle’s name first is no big deal.

    I agree with Maurice Atkinson’s take on this from the beginning: no one, from either side, was realistically expecting the President to endorse Ralph Reed before the primary, and that we as Georgians should be thankful that Bush came down to support Governor Perdue and the Georgia GOP.

  12. Jack S says:

    Hey jim collins,
    why don’t you come on and tell us how this was some great win for reed?

    I didn’t think the president was going to endorse ralph but after all the hype from ralph about all he has done for bush (see press release yesterday) you’d think ralph could get at least one nice gesture from bush. I was there tonight and bush’s comments were essentially “ralph, who?”.

    Ralph got killed tonight from the signs to the stickers to the president mentioning casey first.

    And kemp clealry won too!

  13. GAWire says:

    I got to say, I have been calling that one since the beginning. I have also been saying that as soon as Bush endorses Ralph, I will admit I am wrong, but doesn’t look like that will be necessary. My favorite part is that Ralph’s staff truly believed that they would receive an endorsement everytime GWB comes within 500 miles of GA. Wake up! We don’t endorse in Primaries.

    And, as far as the stickers – this is campain politics. Stickers, signs, etc couldn’t be more appropriate.

    As for Bobby Kahn – seriously, you never cease to amaze me and crack me up! It becomes clearer everyday as to why Dems’ power in this state is non-existant! Keep it up, Bobby!

  14. atlantaman says:

    Bobby Kahn has driven the Democrat Party to near bankruptcy and he want to criticise how the Republicans handle their finances?

    Bobby, quit going to the payday and title loan shops for money and have an actual fundraiser. Perhaps you could get Hillary to headline it and you could sell tie dye t-shirts and organic grilled cheese sandwiches for revenue.

  15. Charlie says:

    Moose the actual quote is in the AJC and on PoliticalVine – your stretching a little 🙂

    It’s my understanding that the state party asked candidates not to sticker people or to hand out anything. It looked like Cagle and Kemp ignored them.

  16. landman says:

    It was very clear at both the Private Reception and the Main
    Dinner that Ralph is DAMAGED GOODS.

    The comments that were being said about this race overwhelmingly were that Ralph is a POISEN PILL and that he will only help the Dems raise more money.

    The writing is on the wall for most people who can fog a mirror and think for theirselves.

  17. GAWire says:

    One thing I noticed early on about Ralph, and thought about it again recently, is that Ralph has attempted to run this race like a national figure or something. People always talk about his grassroots machine, but he is acting like this is a Presidential campaign, along with the expectation that Bush is going to endorse him, which is obviously rediculous. The one “big campaign” that he has seemed to do is raise some money; however, money without gotv efforts will mean nothing. Furthermore, it seems as though Ralph expects every event to be a high donor event, where he can show up in a limo and tux and talk about how he and W are such good friends.

    Meanwhile, Team Cagle has been running a real grassroots machine, just the way a candidate for Lt Gov should, only it is being ran in an exceptional way, to the point where even Ralph’s money is not out of reach any more.

    Ralph, on the other hand, hangs out with Bernie Marcus et al, most of whom are people that have maxed out on him already, and talks about organizing 5000 volunteers, a list that decreases in size rather than growing. This grassroots event that Ralph has coming up is another example of Ralph trying to incorporate presidential campaign strategies on a race that isn’t anywhere close to that level.

    The point is that Ralph loves the idea of being in the spotlight – something we all know already. Ralph is like a kid that likes “playing candidate” with all the glamour that he thinks is involved, but never really is. Casey, meanwhile, actually has a clue, and is proving himself a worthy leader every day.

  18. UGA-Grad says:


    It was inappropriate because the party specifically stated that campaigns were not allowed to hand out anything. I guess some don’t play by the rules.

    And you are correct by saying that volunteers were not handing out stickers. It was Cagle staff(mainly the campaign manager) who was distributing stickers to everybody and their brother.

  19. landman says:

    uga-there wasnt anything at all inappropriatte about people wearing the stickers,most people were asking for them.You are correct about everybody and their brother wearing one though!!!!

    It amazes me how outclassed the Reed team is compared to the Cagle Team.I really expected Ralph to run a better organization than has showed up thus far.


  20. Rusty says:


    Reed supporters ccmplaining about the other guy’s unethical behavor. That… is… rich…

    Phone call for you Pot. It’s Kettle.

  21. HJ Bailey says:

    Okay, this cagle-reed stuff is getting old. I am going to be so sick of this by July, I cannot even imagine. So, I will say soemthing a little different. The only other campaign that was present was the Brian Kemp campaign. I was very impressed with his grassroots effort, and if I didn’t know any better, I would think he was the only candidate in the race. I am not saying if I support him not, I am just saying that they had an impressive effort.

    If I was uninformed as most are, I would say, judging from most events, that Kemp, Cagle and Reed are the only candidates running for election. They are the only ones that work events and have a strong grassroots effort.

  22. Maurice Atkinson says:

    Wished I had attended. It sounds like it was a tremendous event.

    What the President said or did not say was not important. It was good he was hear for the Governor and the Party. Considering the Abramoff mess, and how deep it goes, he is not going to involve himself in a Primary.

    And really, who cares who puts stickers on. Good Lord, this was a political event, its expected. Reed folks had Sonny’s Fish Fry plastered.

    Casey has a lot of work to do, but he has the absolute best team assembled. In my nearly 30 years of involvement with Party politics, these people are the best. They return phone calls, emails, network and are genuinely gracious people. To me that speaks volumes.

  23. MountainThinker says:

    Ok, as much as I have enjoyed the banter (much of it very good by the way!) I’m going to have to weigh in too. Bill Stephens and his sideman were working the room like pros (as well he should), I’m fairly certain Bill spoke to nearly everyone there, I can’t say that about Karen Handel. Reed did NOT show up in a ‘Limo and Tux”, it was a red Ford F-150, being driven by someone; that said, Cagle walked away with the pink slip on that event. I spoke to several high-rollers (donors and activists) who have been hanging back, waiting for Reed to have a trump. Last night after the event, they told me they can’t back Reed and are going to back Cagle. And these people are smiling members of the ‘right-wing’! Kemp talk seems a tad overblown honestly. I thought Gary Black was working the room more and actually talking to more people; I had to go look for Kemp…Gary came to me…
    And as much as I like and respect Perry McGuire…he looked a bit like he was lost to me…anyone else have an opinion on this? By the way, the stickers were very appropriate, not to mention intelligent, because regardless of what the state GOP asked, very few people knew that in that room, so it looked like a Cagle rally…

  24. Billings says:

    Well. it is good that Gary showed up. Glad he could come out to support the President now that he is trying to run for office as a republican. He can go act like he supports the president now. It is too bad he didn’t vote for him in 04 and voted for John Kerry in the 04 Dem Presidential Primary last here. Hypocrisy at its best!!

  25. Beth says:

    I saw Handel working the private reception hard, didn’t see Stephens. Saw him in the main room once, but did’t see him working it.

  26. atlantaman says:

    I know it’s anecdotal, but I see Gary Black at far more events then Kemp. I don’t have a dog in the Agriculture fight, just reporting how I see it. The guy seems to be everywhere.

  27. Statesman says:

    First of all, stickers at a party event are very appropriate no matter what type of event it is. I did not attend the event but heard from several people who did go and they said that Cagle, Reed and Kemp clearly had their acts together. They all three had volunteers doing signs, all you saw coming in was Kemp and Cagle signs. No signs of any other campaigns outside. My friends who were at the event said that the did not even see Gary Black.

  28. UGA-Grad says:

    I think this speaks for itself


    TO: GOP Campaigns

    FROM: Marty Klein

    DATE: March 6, 2006

    RE: Campaign Activity at Presidents’ Day

    Due to security and logistical requirements, there are extremely strict rules governing campaign activity at Presidential events.

    No individuals, including government or campaign staff, will be allowed in the Georgia International Convention Center without a paid ticket. No campaign material will be allowed inside. No materials may be placed on the seats or distributed at the doors.

    The GICC is considered a secured area, and therefore no signs may be placed on the property. Any yard signs placed on GICC property will be collected by security personnel and will not be returned.

    Once again, no yard signs, placards, stickers, push cards, literature, etc. will be permitted inside the convention center.

    Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 404-257-5559 ext. 240 or [email protected].

  29. HJ Bailey says:

    Are you Marty Klein are something and just mad that your supposed authority and demands were ignored? Just wondering, it just seems as if you are someone whose toes were stepped on.

  30. spaceygracey says:

    If he wasn’t already, Righteous Ralphie should’ve gotten dressed-up. Way up.

    That’s gonna be the last time a lot of Fat Cats get anywhere near his fakey little smirk. That’s all he had to begin with anyway.

    At least he can look good going down.

    Hmmm… do white, God-fearin’, Bible-thumpin’, Christian boys even do that? They sure don’t mind getting their soft little pretty-boy hands all dirty with wads of political cash, that’s fer sure! Who knows what they’re capable of when it all starts slip-sllidin’ away…

  31. Cadillac says:

    UGA- GRAD, are you serious, the state party needs to get a grip, this was a POLITICAL EVENT! They are just mad that they told campaigns not to do anything and they got slapped in the face. Come on Paul, Marty or Adam wake up and smell the coffee, nobody takes ya’ll seriously!

  32. possum says:

    Spacey Gracey has it right about the blessed Ralphie “going down.” He’ll be doing a lot of that if he has to go to prison for his crimes against God and everybody in the Abramoff scandal. But, once he’s behind bars, he’ll have a lot of guys covering his back … literally!

  33. Maurice Atkinson says:

    possum,, that’s just gross.

    This is a race, good grief. At least be human about things. I don’t know anyone that wishes that kind of venom on anyone, Ralph included.

    It’s amazing what people spew when they use a moniker.

  34. George Allen 08 says:

    I’ve talked to a few people with the party who were upset with the Kemp and Cagle camps for the stickers, but it doesn’t really matter what they think. Kemp and Cagle bent the rules and got very good publicity because of it. However, I haven’t talked to anyone today that switched sides because of last night. I think the impact of last night is being greatly overexaggerated for both the ag comm and lt gov races.

    However, the party is certainly thrilled to raise 1.5 million last night. That’ll go a long way to getting Perdue reelected, which is the race we SHOULD be focusing on.

  35. Beth says:

    GA08 – Everyone wants to see Sonny get re-elected – right now the focus is on the July primaries and getting him the strongest team to support him.

    AG ?

  36. HowardDawg says:

    Love em or hate em, but I think every campaign and especially those party kids could use a seminar from the Cagle and Kemp campaigns about how to run a campaign operation.

    Don’t hand out stickers? Give me a break.

  37. Bull Moose says:

    The state party people don’t know that there is a Georgia beyond the Perimeter. At least if Cagle and Kemp win they can open up the leadership and staff of the state party to be a little more friendly to ALL of Georgia.

    I wouldn’t send the state party ten cents if I had too.

  38. Bull Moose says:

    And George Allen 08 I think you should be more worried about your boy’s chances to win reelection first and foremost. Remember all the talk of Roy Barnes 2004 back in 2001??? Hmm… very similar to me.

  39. spaceygracey says:

    Get outta here! Go on with your bad selves! Handing out stickers when the party bosses tell you not to. You Young Gun Reps are just soooo totally wild! What’s next, going off your talking points? Shocking, just shocking.

  40. HJ Bailey says:

    You are right on in your analysis bullmoose. The fact is Kemp and cagle out did everyone, despite who any of you or myself support. And the party cannot except that Kemp and cagle don’t take orders.

  41. Bill Simon says:

    Bull Moose:

    You wouldn’t send the state party 10 cents if “you had to” or if “you had it?” The Devil is in the details of which you meant, Bull. 🙂

  42. atlantaman says:

    “And the party cannot except that Kemp and cagle don’t take orders.”

    I think the sticker stuff has been blown out of proportion, but your statement is a bit of a mischaracterzation. It’s not about “taking orders”. It’s about Cagle and Kemp being invited to and being guests at a State Party event.

    According to your logic, one could be invited to a tux only fundraising event for the museum, show up in cut-off shorts and a tank-top, and then expect to be congratulated for not taking orders.

    Just for the record I’ve met Casey a bunch of times at various events and like him, but have never seen Kemp so I don’t have an opinion on him or Greer.

  43. Bull Moose says:

    Bill, you lost me.

    Cagle and Kemp are top shelf candidates and will make great public servants for Georgia.

    Our future is bright with their leadership.

  44. Bill Simon says:

    Sorry, Bull. I wasn’t talking about Casey and Brian not being good candidates or leaders. I was merely confused by this statement by you: “I wouldn’t send the state party ten cents if I had to.”

    I didn’t know if you meant if you were required to send them 10 cents OR if you had 10 cents to spare, you wouldn’t send the state GOP the 10 cents.

    Nevermind. My brain is now experiencing the effects of two new applications of drugs in my system for an acute back problem, so, maybe it’s just me who’s a little fuzzy in his writing. 🙂

  45. GAWire says:

    FYI, Party folks are always told to let campaigns know that they shouldn’t bring campaign material to events where GWB will be. The comes from the WH office of Political Affairs, and is basically just done as a precautionary thing, so that it doesn’t appear as too divided, since it was an event for the GOP as a whole, and they don’t want to take away from Sonny. They also do this so it doesn’t appear that the President is closer to one candidate over others.

    The GAGOP also didn’t want too much division, b/c they know how big the Cagle vs Reed fiasco is. They wanted this event to be focussed on Sonny, and not purely which LG candidate could get more focus from the President – obviously didn’t work as far as this forum goes.

    The fact is, though, they do this, knowing and expecting that there will still be tons of stickers, signs, literature, etc. But, this is to be expected. No big deal – just politics.

  46. ConservativeFire says:

    The events Thursday night just continue to prove why Kemp is going to kick gary black’s a** in July. I am sure Gary felt out of place since he voted against President Bush and for Al Sharpton in the 2004 Democrat Presidential Preference Primary. Haha. I guess that is what Democrats are good at. Bobby Kahn, shouldn’t Gary be running on your side????

  47. atlantaman says:

    “I am sure Gary felt out of place since he voted against President Bush and for Al Sharpton in the 2004 Democrat Presidential Preference Primary.”

    I don’t know the whole history behind Gary and this Democrat primary stuff. Some conservatives did that very thing. Since Bush was unopposed in the Primary, some folks thought it was a wasted vote and would be funnier to screw with the Democrats in their Primary.

    If you’re a diehard Republican, you have to admit that would be pretty damn funny if we all voted for Sharpton and he won Georgia in the Democrat primary.

  48. HowardDawg says:

    Some people vote in a local Dem primary for their sheriff or local officials. In rural areas, that’s understandable.

    But there’s no excuse for voting in a Dem Presidential Primary. Spare me the “strategy” crap.

  49. atlantaman says:

    If Bush is unopposed in the Repub Presidential Primary what difference does it make? Other then having to worry about folks checking your voting history why not vote in the Dem primary and vote for the best choice or the worst choice out of the lot – depending on what your strategy is.

    If you could give Sharpton a strong showing it might be enough to keep him going – focusing on all those outstanding National Democrat issues like reparations, affirmative action, and Socialism.

    Do you feel the Republicans that crossed over to vote for Majette were being disloyal to their party?

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