The Colossus in our midst

We’re all familiar with Nick Ayers ’round these parts. Ayers, of course, was the manager of Governor Perdue’s 2006 reelection campaign, which resulted in a 20-point drubbing of Lt. Governor Mark Taylor; that much I knew. I also knew that he was arrested for driving drunk a couple weeks before the election, and that he kept his job — and that, clearly, there were no adverse consequences felt by his employer at the ballot box.

I knew that Ayers was married to Governor Perdue’s neice [Note: OK, mea culpa here. I knew that Nick’s wife was a relative of the Governor; I made the mistake of trusting the details of the relationship to – you guessed it – Wikipedia. Oops.], and that, upon Perdue’s post-election ascension to the position of Republican Governor’s Association chair, he was named Executive Director of the organization.

I already knew all of that, and have no doubt that the rest of you did, as well. What I did not know about the 24-year-old were these informative nuggets, which were revealed to me by the marvel that is Wikipedia.

The entry begins:

James Nicholas “Nick” Ayers, also known as the “young Karl Rove of Georgia,” is chief political aide to Governor Sonny Perdue. He began his meteoric rise at age 19 when he quit Kennesaw State University and his part-time job as a bank teller to become the driver for Perdue, then an underdog candidate for Governor. Perdue won an upset victory, and Ayers rapidly rose through the ranks of the Perdue organization, becoming chief political strategist at age 23. He married Perdue’s niece along the way.

Nick took a brief leave from the Perdue organization to singlehandedly guide another underdog candidate, Karen Handel, to victory in a 2003 special election for the chairmanship of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. Handel, now Georgia’s Secretary of State, joins Perdue in believing that Ayers has the political equivalent of the “Midas touch.”

Emphasis added.

Good stuff, all. I really won’t argue with any of it (though I’m sure that it will be fought out more than a bit in the comments). For what it’s worth, the “Young Karl Rove” title appears to be sourced to this Atlanta Business Chronicle article from seven months before the 2006 election, in which former state GOP chair Rusty Paul also referred to Ayers as “the first among peers.”

The real eye-opener in the Wiki-entry is this:

After the 2006 election, at Governor Perdue’s urging, Ayers was named Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association, making him one of the most powerful people in the country.

Folks, I had no idea that we had one of the “most powerful people in the country” right here in Georgia, in the form of a man too young to even rent a car himself. I am sincerely impressed, and hope that I have done nothing to raise the ire of this Colossus among mere mortals over the past year, lest I – and all of my aquaintances – be squished like a worm.

Good thing I didn’t write a “fire Nick” column after that DUI.

I’d also love to know who wrote that bio. Any thoughts?

16 comments

  1. atlantaman says:

    First let me say I like Nick, but there are two aspects of that article that made me laugh my ass off (in fairness to Nick hopefully he’s got nothing to do with either of them):

    1. Somehow Anthony Scott Hobbs managed to worm his way into Nick’s bio, that’s funny.

    2. “Ayers was named Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association, making him one of the most powerful people in the country.” If that’s not getting a little thick I don’t know what is.

    I’m sure the job at the Republican Governor’s association is an important one, but while there are many people who now like to take credit for Sonny’s underdog victory in 2002, I don’t recall anyone giving credit to whoever was in charge of the Republican Governor’s association at the time.

  2. memberg says:

    Jeff – looks like the entry has been wikitaged. (Wikipedia sabotage – Trademark – MEM – 1/26/07) (the “trademark” trick is borrowed from Colbert)

  3. Bill Simon says:

    Whoops! Correction: I don’t know if Rob Simms would agree with the statement that it was Nick Ayers who “single-handedly guided Karen Handel” to her 2003 win for Fulton County Commission Chairman.

    Nick was campaign manager, NOT the general consultant and chief strategist for Karen’s 2003 win. That was Rob Simms.

  4. Bill Simon says:

    Good to know that Wikipedia has no spell-check in place. “aquitted” is spelled “acquitted.”

    I, for one, am very glad to see that Wikipedia may demolish all other encyclopedias with its accuracy on everything. What a great source for historical revisionists to hone their craft!

  5. Old School Politics says:

    Major Major mistake in the Wikipedia and Peach Pundit information about Ayers. His wife Jaime is not Perdues niece. She is Perdues COUSIN. Lets get the facts straight.

  6. Old School Politics says:

    Also I have to say this for old times sake:

    I sure am glad that Back Street is Back and has managed to land on his feet every time!

    Lets all admit it. He is pretty smart to be at the right place at the right time. Come on even though he didnt graduate from college he has some pretty impressive things under his belt. Time will be the ultimate test. Perdue has 3 years left. Then what? Will the gravy train end or continue?

  7. gatormathis says:

    OSP,
    Thanks for the clarification, on Perdue’s cousin.

    You see, Perdue’s “neice”, that would be close kin. Maybe even close enough to cause a stir.

    But “cousin”, hell……. that’s remote.

    Them yankees, they done figured out long years ago, we all “kin” “some kind of way” down hea……..lol.

    Let them go back to yonking the land deal, this dog won’t hunt.

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