A Bold and Safe Choice

Dear House Republicans,

You want a bold and safe choice for Speaker?

Go with this guy.

Seriously. Not kidding one bit.

You signal that you are conservative, that you understand the internal problems, that you want to make serious amends, and as an added bonus you help cull the herd in the 9th and thereby free up some donor to help yourselves.

This would be damn brilliant. Magical.

Tom Graves for Speaker.


  1. Icarus says:

    He would be my first choice as well, but I’m told he’s unavailable.

    So he would have to be drafted, by members of a caucus that are all trying to increase or maintain their own power.

    It’s a nice thought. I just see no path to it happening, unfortunately.

  2. RealPub says:

    Amen! I’m a huge fan and have been for years. It appears that Rep. Michael Harden that first called for a caucus election will fill those commen sense, conservatives shoes in the House. A freshman who challenges the status quo, sound familiar?

  3. NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

    He would be great, but as already noted, he is unavailable. Has anyone asked Rep. Graves who he thinks would do a good job? A recommendation from Graves could really give some up and coming conservative a boost in this race.

  4. Silent Outrage says:

    I would think that being Speaker of the House of Georgia would be better than being a 2nd place also ran in a primary for Congress…

  5. macho says:

    Is everyone 100% sure he’s unavailable. Yes, I know he’s running for Congress, but that was before you had the downfall of the Roman empire over at the House. He would be a wonderful choice. A true Conservative, with integrity, who walks the talk. Too many “Conservatives” I see in the House, seem to be chameleons. Sure they make great speeches, hit all the right points, and usually vote the right way, but I get the sense they only do it because it’s what is expected of them. It’s not what’s in the heart. I get the impression that some of them, if born in Mass., would be big-spending, big-government liberals, in a very similar quest to feed their fragile egos. Whereas, if Tom were born in Mass., he’d be trying to expand the local GOP party.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      Off topic, but reminded me that Darwin Carter, one of the GOP candidates for Georgia Ag Commissioner in 2010 actually ran against Ted Kennedy for the U.S. Senate (as a Republican) while he was living in Massachusetts. I believe he raised over $2 million but later backed out of the race. His name is actually James Darwin Carter, so Kennedy ran against one James Carter from Georgia for President and was opposed by another James Carter from Georgia for Senate. Just some interesting (or not) political trivia.

  6. Jeremy Jones says:

    In my most sincere and unbiased voice possible, I agree Mr. Graves would make a great speaker.

    Obviously, only he can make the choice, but, If I may offer some unsolicited advice.

    Speaker would allow him to realize more of his current platform than would a congressional victory, not to mention, much faster. (for instance, he often speaks on Pro-Life issues. As a US House Representative, there is little he can do on that front.)

    Speaker would allow him to devote more energy into making positive change, as he would hold his seat as safe, against competition for the foreseeable future. In 2012, (if somehow he beats me for US House next year 😉 ), he would most surely face another tough primary battle with re-districting and the likes of Neal, Mullis, and other names considering a run in the new district. In other words, his time can be spent working, not campaigning, in 2011 and 12.

    The obvious benefit of time with family, though, this point is not as valid, for his time with family issue would have already been decided before his congressional run.

    As speaker, I assume, his influence over the upcoming re-districting would be most beneficial for the GOP, as opposed to a temporary, and/or flawed speaker might be.

    I have gotten to know him during the course of this campaign. While we have a difference of opinion on a couple of issues, I believe we have the respect of each other. While I have no doubt he would make a fine Congressman (Not as good as me of course), I think he would be most effective as GA Speaker.

    Before anyone thinks I am making these arguments for my own benefit, let me be clear, his departure from my race MIGHT benefit me personally, who knows? However, him being Speaker of the House of Georgia WOULD benefit us all.

    • appachtrail70 says:

      Agreed besides the fact that Graves would face a tough primary against anyone in 2012 after he wins CD 9 next year.

    • macho says:

      “for instance, he often speaks on Pro-Life issues. As a US House Representative, there is little he can do on that front.”

      Uh, the Supreme Court made abortion a Federal Issue.

      • Jeremy Jones says:

        and the US House can do nothing about, except to push for a Constitutional amendment, which, would have a better chance of originating in the states.

        Obviously, if he was running for Senate, he could do something about it when confirmation time came for a new justice on SCOTUS. But a House member? All we can do is talk about it, pass some watered down laws that, when challenged, would most likely fail constitutional review.

        • ChuckEaton says:

          Why would a Constitutional Amendment on abortion have a better time of originating in the States versus US Congress?

          • Doug Deal says:

            It wouldn’t require 2/3 of each house to approve it, which would never happen. Instead it would only need approval from a convention of the states and then 3/4 of the most numerous branch of each state’s legislature.

            I am not saying that I support it, but it would be pretty much impossible to get 2/3 approval of anything reguarding abortion in Congress.

  7. GOPGeorgia says:

    As Chairman of the Ninth, you all know I don’t play favorites.

    That being said, I think Tom would make a great speaker, as would David R. I think Tom still has his heart set on congress and I think he has a chance at winning. I don’t know if either could be drafted to run or not.

    I know that some of you are not fans of Cagle or Deal, but I think it’s interesting about the possibility of having the Gov., Lt. Gov. and Speaker all from my District

  8. DoubleDawg3 says:

    While I think Tom Graves would be a great person for either job, if I were in his shoes, I could see the benefits of staying in GA to be Speaker of the House, rather than moving to DC and being a low ranking member of Congress.

    1) Look at the pay – almost $100,000.00 to be Speaker of the House – which means you still only represent one small district of the state, and you’re only in session 3-4 months of the year (obviously there’s work outside of that time, but just looking at the actual dates). As a member of Congress, he’d receive at/near $175,000 per year – but you’ve got to adjust for the extra costs of living in DC & Georgia, not to mention the fact that it is a “year round” job, in and out of session at various times, and would require a lot more long distance travel. IT’s still a good deal more – but not as much as you might think.

    2) Looking at the Speaker position – you’re arguably the 2nd most powerful politician in the State of Georgia – do the job right and it’s yours for a, potentially, long, long time to come – or, do the job right and propel yourself to run for Governor (or Senator?) – nothing better to help you campaign statewide than to have 90+ State Rep’s plugging away for you in their district.

    Not saying that being a member of Congress doesn’t have a TON of stability (incumbency is huge).

    Given that Graves is likely the front runner in his Congressional race (I live in the 9th – that man is out and about more than ANYONE else, I can promise you that – plus he’s got a great fundraising edge) – I’m not sure he wants to leave his fate up to the hands of his peers every two years (whether they keep him as Speaker or not) – or prefer to leave it up to the 9th District electorate every 2 years (whether to keep him in Congress or not). Tough call to make, for sure.

  9. YossarianLives says:

    Graves ain’t going no where, except possibly DC. A real bold and safe choice is Ralston. Face it.

  10. Three Jack says:

    graves would be the perfect choice. but why would he drop out of a race for congress that he is likely to win?

    good analysis doubledawg. all things considered, it could come down to family ties more than money.

  11. Cavalier says:

    I agree that Tom Graves would be a marvelous choice for Speaker, but the fact of the matter is that he remains uninterested in the position.

  12. ChiefofStaff65 says:

    I agree with the choice of Tom, but seeing how he probably will not run, why not someone like Austin Scott?

    1. He has taken less than $2000 in 14+ years as a State Rep. from lobbyists based on campaign disclosures.

    2. He would only be in office for a year due to his Governor’s race.

    3. He has bucked leadership and Speaker Richardson on many well reported occasions.

    4. I have not read anywhere on PP where his ethics or integrity has been questioned.

    5. He is not from metro Atlanta either.

    What are the thoughts?

    • Chris says:

      Does it make sense for Scott to leave the Gov race, when 3 of the top 4 candidates have skeletons?
      Oxendine – Campaign Money Laundering
      Johnson – Various things I can’t recall if have been made public yet
      Deal – Using influence to benefit his personal business dealings.

      • Doug Deal says:

        How many of those skeleton plagued candidates would ever be willing to drop out. I think 2/3 will roll the dice and qualify. How likely would it be for Austin to get traction behind another candidate, say Oxendine, to get into a runoff with Handel, or even getting enough votes to force a runoff with Handel?

        What does finishing behind 4th behind the eventual winner and 2 scandal wracked candidates do for a political career?

        • drjay says:

          well, it would depend on a lot of factors, but i know a couple of georgians who finished 3rd in guv primaries that ended up doing ok…

  13. Muscadine says:

    Austin Scott has bucked Speaker Richardson? Better check your facts. He was on the front lines supporting Richardson when he had a chance to vote him out last year. He is simply using this situation to help his Governor’s race now. Talk is cheap. As for Graves. He did run against Keen last year but why didn’t he run against the speaker when he had the chance? Seems like he tried to take advantage of the work that others were doing as well. Not exactly a leader.

  14. ChiefofStaff65 says:

    Looking back at some AJC Insider postings, Rep. Scott voted against the budget in 2007 and was temp. stripped of his committee assignment from the Speaker and has held up some legislation that leadership wanted as Chairman of the Govt. Affairs Committee. Also, I believe he was the only Republican to vote to change the flag?

    • AthensRepublican says:

      Austin Scott is a nice guy, but did not possess the courage to stand up to Richardson last year. I could not imagine the caucus looking to him as an acceptable candidate for Speaker.

  15. Muscadine says:

    Then why did he vote for, and publicly defend Glenn Richarson merely 12 months ago when David Ralston challenged him? Maybe he was afraid of losing his chairmanship again.

    • YossarianLives says:

      Rep. Austin Scott…..Supporter of Glenn Richardson Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

  16. WhatsNew says:

    I agree Tom is great, but I don’t think this would be a good move for him. A thoughtfully vocal member of thee minority can be influential in DC, particularly in putting new ideas/perspectives in the public mind. The cameras will love him and that will help expand his opportunity to be heard.

    If he switches now, would it be a real election or a coronation? If it’s really an election, he might or might not win. There are other good potential candidates for Speaker — I like Lindsay particularly — so let’s get Tom to DC.

  17. fishtail says:

    Did some checking on Austin Scott’s campaign finance reports. He has taken $5,300 from Richardson and $1,000 from Keen. I guess CHIEFOFSTAFF65 missed that part. I agree that Austin seems like a “good guy”, but he needs to address the contributions from these two tainted sources.

    • Atlanta says:

      Every house GOP member has received contributions from those two. Are you referring to the governor’s race or the house race?

  18. fishtail says:

    And Graves took 1000 each from Richardson, Burkhalter and Keen in 2006 – all on the same day. Quite a party.

  19. fishtail says:

    And further, Nathan Deal received $6,100 each from Richardson, Burkhalter, and Keen. WOW! Seems like these 3 top GOP legislators were giving money out to anyone who would bow down and kiss their rings. Deal’s gubernatorial campaign will likely suffer substantially with the Ga GOP House leadership gone.

    • Atlanta says:

      That’s probably the governor’s race. 6100 is the max. Everyone knows Deal was the chosen candidate of the current house leadership. Where does everybody keep getting this stuff about Scott being their favorite? They’ve all endorsed Nathan Deal.

  20. SpaceyG says:

    It’s one thing to have never been in Tiger’s harem, but when no GA Republican has so much as glanced at you then self-esteem issues can arise.

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