For most of the day, we’ve heard from Republicans and conservatives on former state Sen. Jim Whitehead (R-Evans) and his ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
On the Democratic side, it’s been an almost euphoric mood at the prospect of Whitehead being defeated. You have some who believe that Democrat James Marlow’s focus on Iraq softened Whitehead up for Broun. There are others who suggest that Broun could be tempted to switch parties and become a conservative Democrat.
As for my take, I believe that the old saying from President Clinton (the 42nd) rings true in this situation…
“Don’t look past the next election or you might not get past the next election.”
Jim Whitehead was looking past the July 17th election. He didn’t take Paul Broun serious enough, and I believe that no matter how much of a joke you may consider your electoral opponent to be, publicly you should always treat them with a little respect and take them as a serious threat. You know, I’m reminded of the very first Rocky movie where Apollo Creed didn’t take Rocky serious enough, and almost ended up getting beat wasting all that time shuckin’ and jivin’ in the ring. In Rocky IV, Apollo Creed did the same thing; didn’t take the Russian seriously, and ended up getting killed…literally.
The point is that Jim Whitehead didn’t make it lethal. He had a commanding lead of 23 points on June 19th. He should have doubled it. Instead of a 23 point lead, he should have had a 46 point lead. I’ve always been taught that you never, ever sit on a lead. You don’t leave any room for your opponent to come back; you make it lethal.
So, as for this Democrat’s opinion on last night’s election results, I believe that while there are valid arguments that Democrats in Athens-Clarke County might have helped put Paul Broun over the top, if Jim Whitehead had not looked past the July 17th election; if he had made his lead over Paul Broun lethal, then no matter how many Democrats turned out to vote for Broun, it wouldn’t have mattered.