We have already heard some of the things going on with the fact that Sen Balfour endorsed Reed in the Primary and attempted to have Waffle House campaign for Ralph, but I wanted to provide a little analysis on some of Reed’s other “big name” endorsements, which Reed supporters boasted were going to lead him to the Lt. Gov’s office.
This is pretty basic stuff, here, but bear with me.
Did anyone else find it interesting that with the exception of Zell Miller (he’s excluded from this analysis on the basis that he isn’t really in politics anymore, officially, at least), Reed’s endorsements were from some relatively big political names, each of whom are already in the news for something totally unrelated to who they endorse in a down ticket race in the Georgia Primary?
Newt Gingrich and Rudy Guiliani both endorsed Ralph, but why? The answer is not difficult … they needed Ralph, more than he needed them, and those endorsements never had anything to do with Georgia or the Primary (or Ralph Reed, for that matter).
Newt needed Ralph because he thought it would help him “stay in touch” with Georgia conservatives, because since he has not been living in Georgia for a number of years now, this was the best way to make sure his old base would around for him in the Presidential Primary. Look at the Cobb straw poll … Newt won it, so it looks like that mission was accomplished. Newt, however, was smart to stay arms length from Ralph’s campaign, only helping him out early on, so as not to receive too much backlash from Reed’s scandal and now abyssmal showing in the Primary.
The second place contender in that straw poll brings me to my next example: Rudy G. How the heck did the liberal RINO, Rudy Guiliani manage to come in second in a Presidential straw poll taken in a conservative Southern district? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the LG candidate Rudy endorsed weeks before came in first in that same straw poll?
Rudy needed Ralph much more than Ralph ever could have used Rudy! If Rudy has any hopes of being a contender in the GOP Presidential Primary, then he will need some help getting the conservative vote! I guess Rudy thought the former director of the Christian Coalition could help him with that … shows you how much Rudy knows about Southern conservative voters.
One other non-Georgia example of “why the heck are these big names endorsing small candidates” mentality is a race currently going on in Louisiana. Sen John McCain has just endorsed a GOP candidate for Secretary of State. That’s right … you heard me. Granted, it’s the only big race in the state right now, but what business does McCain have endorsing a leading conservative candidate in the Deep South?
Could it be: “Hey, look at me … I’m John McCain, and I’m really conservative despite what you see me do in the [useless] Senate. See … I really care about conservative principles. I even endorsed a conservative candidate in a state that I’ve only been to like twice in my life, and one of those times was partying in New Orleans” (ok, McCain didn’t actually say that … I used a little creative license there).
What do you all think about endorsement backlash? I know there will be a couple of Georgia Legislators paying for their dying loyalty, but will Georgia’s embarrassing candidacy of Ralph Reed for Lt. Gov affect the GOP Presidential Primary?
One note: I realize this will all be long history by the time the Pres Primaries heat up, but humor me here.