First, there is a common talking point shaping up this morning from legislators at various county GOP meetings — don’t read Peach Pundit.
I personally find it hilarious that Senator Ross Tolleson would be in his office reading Peach Pundit for his tidbits, then run down to the Houston County GOP meeting to tell them all not to read it.
Note to Ross, the Ox, and others: telling people not to read Peach Pundit is not exactly the best way to get people to not read Peach Pundit. Same with you guys up in Fulton and elsewhere. I do, however, very much appreciate the extra traffic. A shame we don’t make money off Peach Pundit.
Second, my voicemail is full of legislators and others calling to defend their particular candidates for Speaker, pitch a candidate, give me news, etc. I have bigger fish to fry this weekend in addition to spending time with family. Your calls will be returned, but you’ll have to be patient. We have a Christmas tree to get up.
Third, I suspect some of the greatest angst from these legislators telling everyone not to read Peach Pundit is because of the debauchery they have been engaging in for years under the radar. They just don’t like us sharing. Hell, I had one legislator a few years ago tell me he had a four way with two strippers and a lobbyist supplier of women, but only really figured it out when he woke up in bed the next morning with all the other bodies piled around. He thought it was the best job ever. Yes, sadly, that is a very true story.
Lastly, I am overwhelmed with calls about Larry O’Neal. It seems Peach Pundit has started a “lynch mob” to get Rep. O’Neal. I personally don’t think that is true, but that is the impression we’ve left with his supporters.
I speak only for myself now.
Telling me that Larry O’Neal is from Middle Georgia and I should support him is typically the best way to get me not to support someone. Note my stance on funding the various Halls of Fame sucking our tax dollars from us in Macon. Everyone calling is making that pitch. Not gonna work with me. Sorry. I want a Speaker of the whole House, not a Speaker of Middle Georgia legislators.
I understand that Larry O’Neal gave his much maligned interview with Travis Fain when O’Neal was in ICU at the hospital suffering from the swine flu and pneumonia. Probably not the best idea, but when you are that sick you sometimes do goofy things and say things that aren’t quite clear.
So, I think it best that all of us ignore the interview with Travis Fain. O’Neal’s supporters tell me that some of his words were misconstrued and some of it he had a hard time articulating his position due to his very high fever and condition. That’s understandable. He felt the need to address the rumors, but it didn’t work out so well.
Let’s move on from it.
The next big area of criticism is the Governor’s land deal. As no one has ever found that O’Neal did anything wrong, I don’t hold the land deal against him. On one hand, people are criticizing O’Neal for being loyal to Sonny and on the other hand criticizing him for being loyal to Glenn. Like with God and money, he cannot be loyal to both. Perhaps he is his own man. Maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know. I don’t care.
Here’s my point and I hope I can articulate it clearly over a rapidly deteriorating signal to noise ratio.
If you were going to clean the House and get a guy as Speaker, who would you pick? Larry O’Neal. It is a no brainer. He is the elder statements of the powerful Ways & Means Committee who might have the best ideas of exactly what to do about the deteriorating economic condition in the state.
It makes extremely good sense. I suspect that is precisely why O’Neal is very much considered to be the front runner. Fine.
But I also think that the default judgment of doing so is a bad idea. The House GOP is running for a very safe pick, not a bold pick, in a time of very bad press with even more sharks circling. I think the best way to right the ship is to be bold. Larry O’Neal ain’t bold.
I’ve got no dog in the fight and no preference in the race. If the House GOP thinks O’Neal is the best they can do, so be it. Fine with me. But I think the House GOP can do something unexpected that will impress everyone at a time when no one expects to be impressed by the House GOP. They should always strive for more, particularly at a time like this.