The Fierce Sense of Now

The AJC has a story about the GOP establishment becoming less than comfortable with John Oxendine’s campaign.

Georgia’s Republican establishment is showing signs of discomfort with the prospect that John Oxendine will be the party’s nominee for governor, despite his popularity with many voters and status as early front-runner.

I am quoted in the story, but I think my most important point was left out.

We are facing a Republican leadership in the state that is privately whispering at a ferocious rate that John Oxendine is going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, vulnerable nominee should he get the nomination.

But these same men knew exactly what Glenn Richardson was doing and who too. These are the same men who did nothing after his attempted suicide, though to be fair, I agreed. It took the former Mrs. Richardson making the whole thing so embarrassing for the Republican leaders to make them do anything.

If not even the attempted suicide could force these men to have a come to Jesus meeting with the Speaker of the House, what the hell do we expect them to do with John Oxendine? They’ll just sit around and pray the political fall out from John Oxendine’s fall from power does not affect their own electoral chances. And hell, one of them is term limited anyway.


  1. From later in the article:

    The other candidates in the Republican gubernatorial race are, so far, keeping their thoughts on Oxendine to themselves.

    Why not? They are waiting for the implosion and based on recent history, they have every right to be confident the implosion will occur.

    • polisavvy says:

      I have heard some swipes at him at debates/forums; however, I, like you, believe they know that he will self-destruct. Plus, there is still more garbage to come out about this guy. At the forum this past Saturday, there were a good many snickers and whispers about him. He’s not as popular as the writer in the AJC seems to think. Plus, all the adverse publicity is not a plus.

      “. . . he’s a former Democrat who has exhibited intense ambition and a knack for self-promotion. That ambition, however, has helped make him popular with some segments of the Republican electorate. He has been insurance commissioner since 1995 and a near-constant presence on the GOP dinner and meeting circuit, a tireless campaigner and a gregarious hand-shaker.” Let’s break this down: (a) former Democrat — not really a plus with Republicans these days; (b) intense ambition — code for abuse of power; (c) abuse of power doesn’t make one necessarily popular; (d) insurance commissioner since 1995 — too long; (e) tireless campaigner — really(?) and he’s the only one doing that, plus he does tweet (even if he says stupid stuff); and a gregarious hand-shaker — code for he enjoys being in crowds and around people like himself (insurance folk who are contributors to his campaign).

      The candidates will ultimately expose him to audiences at debates/forums; however, the are waiting until the right time. It seems like everyday someone is saying something about the Ox. With others doing it, why should they start slinging mud so early. Many voters are turned off by that. He’s doing a great job by his own implosion. Very entertaining, indeed.

  2. Mid Georgia Retiree says:

    A choice between Oxendine and Barnes is not much of a choice. And I am certain that if Barnes’ fundraising, arm-twisting political activities were submitted to the same level of public scrutiny that Oxendine’s has, then the Democratic political pundits would be publicly saying some of the same things about Barnes that we are hearing and reading about our Insurance Commissioner. I think the mud-slinging we saw between Perdue and Barnes in 2002 will be nothing compared to what we will see between Barnes and Oxendine.

    • macho says:

      You talk to anyone who works around the Capitol and ask them, “Whose been the biggest shakedown artist in recent memory?” and they are going to tell you Roy Barnes or John Oxendine. The two of them are in a neck-in-neck race on the front. But, with Barnes holding the state record of over $20 million raised for a campaign, I believe he edges out Oxendine on the lobbyist-shakedown front.

      • Mozart says:

        Lobbyists’ sole existence is for the opportunity to be shaken-down. As long as they get what they want in return, they’ll give up money every time, and just pass the expense on to their clients, categorized, usually, under the heading of “Miscellaneous”.

    • polisavvy says:

      Makes one wonder what the term “hot file” really means, doesn’t it? There are many questions to be asked about this.

    • Mozart says:

      Ox is going to have to start hitting the Oxycontin to help deal with the sudden migraines he’s going to start experiencing.

      • polisavvy says:

        And, contrary to what one poster indicated on PP yesterday, his problems are going to be aired and discussed on sources other than PP. Funny about the Oxycontin! 🙂

  3. macho says:

    Here is a troubling quote from an Oxendine supporter (Opitz) in the article, “Oxendine, he said, has been a true steward of his office.” What the hell does that mean? Can anyone in the Ox Herd actually name something specific that he’s done? It makes me think they are either brainwashed imbeciles or they’ve got some time an energy invested in the Herd and don’t want to admit they were wrong.

    I can’t believe anyone, who spends any amount of time around the fraud, couldn’t see through his b.s..

    • polisavvy says:

      Amen and well said. I couldn’t agree with you more. I particularly enjoyed the brainwashing comment. I just have a feeling that someone in his office is going to slip up and expose Ox and his shenanigans. Just a feeling.

      • polisavvy says:

        Yippee!! So much to be proud of with that one! I’m sure they are busy as h$ll until 7:00. [NOTE: Said with total sarcasm]. 🙂

    • Republican Lady says:

      I have to wonder if some of them have to remain silent in order to keep a job in this economy. A job under Ox, even as vile as he has been, is better than no job when there is a mortgage to pay, kids to feed and clothe, car payment, food, etc. I don’t really know, just want to give some of his employees the benefit of the doubt. Either way, it must be embarrassing to have to tell people where one works if working for the Ox.

      • polisavvy says:

        I wouldn’t say where I worked if I worked for him at this point in time. You are so right that it has to be embarrassing. It makes one give pause as to what a staff meeting might involve, doesn’t it? I can hear it now (in that terribly grating voice), “You all know I’m running for Governor, and I don’t need anything getting out of this office. If any of you ever say anything before I’m elected, you’re fired.” Would probably put Trump to shame.

        • Republican Lady says:

          My point exactly. A horrible job is better than no job. Maybe their mantra is, “In November, he will be gone,” because it is so close to the holidays that January will seem like hours away.

          Or maybe the employees have a secret wish like maybe an arrest before July for Ox for something we don’t about yet?

  4. BuckheadConservative says:

    What’s funny is that in 2006 there was a similar sense of impending doom around Ralph Reed’s potential nomination. His baggage wasn’t near as bad as Oxendine’s (in my opinion), but the GOP establishment wasted no time in aligning full force to stop him. The Senate even went as far as passing a resolution asking him to drop out of the race. If they exerted that same level of effort toward’s Oxendine campaign, he would be done by April. Oxendine in the governor’s mansion is a much bigger threat to our state and our party than Reed in the LG chair, but thus far everyone has sat on their hands. I don’t get it.

    • polisavvy says:

      There’s still time for something to happen as far as the Ox is concerned. I hope that there is already discussion beginning on this one, other than just a few voicing an opinion. Oxendine has more than just simple baggage, he’s a complete treasure trove of controversy. He’s about as ethical as an alley cat. In my opinion, there is no way he’s going to get through this thing. I told my husband about a week ago that I thought he’d be gone/done by April. I am still holding out that my hunch is correct.

    • ByteMe says:

      It’s easier to figure out who you don’t support than who you do in a race with “Snow White and the Six Dwarfs” running for the office. There’s a lot of time between now and June/July to make the problem go away, but you want to do it in a way that supports “the chosen one.” Patience.

      • BuckheadConservative says:

        As soon as I clicked “Submit” that thought crossed my mind. Everyone is afraid of the vaccum that Ox’s demise will create. No one wants to pull the trigger until they know their horse will be the one to reap the benefits. I’m just afraid we’re going to be in July waiting for the other shoe to drop, and one very unelectable candidate with a high pitched voice smiling all the way to the bank.

        In an odd way, Jim Galloway may be the most powerful man in the GOP right now. With everyone else arguing over who will get the spoils of his demise, Galloway may be the one who puts the figurative bullet in him.

        • Dave Bearse says:

          That “No one wants to pull the trigger until they know their horse with be the one to reap the benfits” exemplifies the lack of backbone that let Richardson roll along.

      • polisavvy says:

        I don’t think I’m hiding who I support. But, putting that aside, Ox does need to go. Too many ethical concerns already. By the way, who is “the chosen one?” How am I wanting to do it in a way that supports him? (Scratching head). I have to admit one of my many, many faults — I’m terribly impatient; however, I will try to make that a virtue, okay? 🙂

        • ByteMe says:

          The Chosen One will be revealed as we get closer to primary season. For now, let’s just assume it’s not Ray McBerry 🙂

          Ohhhh, I’m gonna get it now….

          • polisavvy says:

            Yes, you probably are going to get it. I still have no idea who you are speaking of and wish you’d drop a hint (or did you)?

        • Mozart says:

          As far as someone “needing to go,” the laws do not exist to throw someone out of a political party, or out of a race.

          Oxendine, because of these weird, archaic laws on “freedom of association” and such, can keep on running, qualify to run, and have his name on the ballot in July.

          If you and others do not want him to win, you have the right to form your own caucus to oppose him and defeat him at the ballot box.

          • polisavvy says:

            I believe that is the plan for a good many who post here — to defeat him at the ballot box. I certainly don’t mean throw him out of the race literally. I am aware that since he has qualified he has every right to run, have his name on the ballot, and all that. I just mean that, if unsavory past deeds and missteps continue, he’ll be out of the race in that the chances for winning will diminish. I am still waiting to see who in the state government ends up coming out and openly supporting his run.

  5. Mozart says:

    “It took the former Mrs. Richardson making the whole thing so embarrassing for the Republican leaders to make them do anything.”

    OH…so as one of “those” who initially put aside Mrs. Richardson’s comments, you are now one of the righteous, eh, Erick?

  6. B Balz says:

    Mr. Towery echoes my sentiments from last week regarding regarding any actual unseating of the GOP gubernatorial front runner: H/T AJC

    “… said Towery, who runs an Atlanta Internet media and polling firm. “I’m telling you, the guy right now is probably going to win the Republican nomination if somebody doesn’t take him down. …” Though I cannot speak for Mr. Towery, I hope to be completely wrong.

    Yet, I believe many GOP voters will recall meeting Mr. Oxendine at a faith-based function, identify with his warm demeanor, recall his strong handshake, and say, “He seems like a nice guy.”

    The $120K matter, hunting education deficiencies may be discounted as “political muckery.” Even Rep. Westmorelands’ purported shakedown may come up as ‘too light’ to matter.

    Perhaps the facts in this article may act like a dam-buster bomb putting a minute fissure in Mr. Oxendine’s campaign structure. Will there be enough sustained, unrelenting pressure to crack the dam wide open before July? In my opinion, not unless we see a “dead girl/live boy scenario” develop.

    The larger question, which I respectfully ask, is what direction CAN the GOP leadership take? Either Party’s leadership may be forced to into an Oxendine/Barnes showdown to represent their respective Parties best hope of winning.

    BOOM, done and done.

  7. Mozart says:

    But…as I recall, the number of people who take a home delivery of the AJC has been cut-down by about 75% since 2006, so, this story won’t be getting out much beyond the totally, awesomely tricked-out Weblog of….which has, according to has a whopping Traffic Rank of “185,816” (which should be interpreted to mean traffic is quite low compared to 185,815 other related Websites).

    As I look more into the Alexa rankings, after existing nearly 5 years, PP only has 258 sites linking-into it. Compare that to: (129 links into it) (3056 links into it) (11,979 links into it)

    Yeah, this story’s got some legs alright….Daddy-Long Legs, maybe.

  8. Bloodhound says:

    I was at meeting last where Ox was the speaker. After he made his presentation he opened the floor for questions and mixed in with the softball “What are you going to do to improve education?” -“Are you going to raise my taxes?” – etc. someone asked how he planned to dispel and disarm the controversy caused by his past indiscretions, listing just a few of them and pointing to Erick’s “Goring the Ox” article.

    Ox first laughed then lost his smile, and tried to tell the questioner that he was not required by law to have a hunter safety card, to which the questioner replied that Title 27 does in fact require that certification for anyone who is hunting.

    Ox then proceeded to attack Eric, declaring that he is no journalist but merely an operative of the Handel campaign. He then began rattling off pole numbers and stating that he is the only GOP candidate who has ever carried the liberal counties of Georgia in a statewide election.

    He never answered the gentleman’s question.

    I hope that as Commissioner Oxendine moves around the state at these county party meetings there is someone in every crowd willing , to at least attempt, to hold him accountable for his many past indiscretions.

    • polisavvy says:

      That’s his modus operandi — non-answer answers! He’s not the only one who gives canned, rehearsed answers, though. As has been pointed out on here before, there isn’t usually that much attention paid to the positions that appear lower on the ballot. People will usually not research who is running for those positions and generally vote for the “incumbent.”

      As for future county party appearances, he’ll continue to go and do the same thing. After all, he’s the Ox!

  9. brian.holcombe says:

    John is a good guy but a weak leader. Don’t go quail hunting with him:) I wish the GOP would get some new candidates at the last minute because Karen Handel is kicking some butt!

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