Michael Thurmond For Dem. Chair?

November 4, 2010 19:21 pm

by Buzz Brockway · 30 comments

Sen. Robert Brown picks a new State Democratic Party Chair.

Senate Democratic Leader Robert Brown, D-Macon, is famous for his sharp tongue and his ability to hold matters close to his vest. So when he talks, you can bet a deal is in the works – if not already done.

Brown is considered very close to U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Macon, who lost his seat on Tuesday.

In a meeting with reporters, Brown:

– Said he would back former U.S. Senate candidate Michael Thurmond as the next chairman of the state Democratic party. Brown acknowledged that Thurmond – until ran last among all statewide Democrats on Tuesday – but said that was in part because of a lack of support from the state party.

Jane Kidd is the current chairman, but her term is coming to an end.

fishtail November 4, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Well, why not have a black man as Chair of the black political party, thanks to the GOP.

American Delight November 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Why is your first reaction to make a racial comment, fishtail?

Word November 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Thanks to the GOP?

fishtail November 4, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Which planet have you been on recently? The GOP ran millions of dollars of media ads featuring Obama/Barnes connections in order to the racial prejudices of white voters who don’t like a black President.

Word November 4, 2010 at 9:36 pm

No they showed media ads with Obama/Barnes because Georgians don’t like Obama and his policies. Obama couldn’t win in Georgia in 2008 and he has only hurt his image since then. If you want to think it’s a race thing then I feel sorry for you.

AubieTurtle November 5, 2010 at 12:32 am

They also threw Cynthia McKinney into the ads. She hasn’t been in office for years. Seems a bit fishy.

But they also put Reid and Pelosi in the ads and I’m pretty sure it’s difficult to get whiter than those two without having a skin condition.

AnyoneElse2010 November 5, 2010 at 8:15 am

You do realize that Thurbert Baker and Michael Thurmond have been reelected a gazillion times by the “racist” white males? You’re foolish and silly.

BoogDoc7 November 5, 2010 at 9:03 am

Racism, in America, is the last refuge of someone who has already lost the argument, and you came out first with it.

View from Brookhaven November 4, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I think they both could do better.

ricstewart November 4, 2010 at 11:50 pm

From what I hear, DPG faithful aren’t too enthused about the prospects of Thurmond as a party chair.
Neither of the Porters are interested.
Regina Thomas would certainly be interesting and would shake things up, but word on the street is that she’s running for mayor next year.
Jim Marshall is out of work now, but does the DPG really want a failed congressman as its leader?
Beth Farokhi would make an excellent, excellent chair, but I’m a little biased. (Amir would also be a good choice if they want to tap into the young, hip crowd)
RJ Hadley, Darryl Hicks, Brian Westlake….

Erick Likes Puppies November 5, 2010 at 8:34 am

Sorry, but it’s going to be Mike Berlon. It needs to be someone who actually knows what’s going on.

bowersville November 5, 2010 at 1:21 am

It has been reported in polls that as many as 80% of white males in Georgia voted for the Republicans.

Here’s a novel idea, how about a white male?

This last Georgia election if nothing else proves that the DPG is in the minority. It’s not African Americans or white women that will lead the DPG into a state wide candidate election. It’s the white males. Until the DPG state wide candidates become palatable to at least 40-50% of white Georgia males the DPG will remain irrelevant until the demographics of the state changes. Let’s face it not even a statesman like Sam Nunn would be deemed progressive enough to be the DPG chair by the Democrats of today.

It’s true the Republicans in Georgia threw out an excessive amount of bigoted campaigning but all those 80% of white Georgia males can’t be bigoted.

If the DPG has any chance of becoming relevant in this decade it must recognize the times. You need look no further than two events to show this cycle of Republican state control has started off poorly for the Republicans. 1) The turmoil in the Georgia Senate over the Lt. Governor and 2) The appointment of Governor Perdue’s former chief of staff to the transition team and him asking for defense money for the former speaker’s chief of staff who is facing felony charges in Alabama including bribery. ( 1&2 reported on the AJC Political Insider)

I doubt the DPG will even come close to taking advantage of any miscue by the Georgia Republicans because the DPG will stick to it’s further most left leanings and become even more out of touch with Georgia’s slightly right of center roots. The key for the DPG IMHO is moderation not progressive. But hey that’s just me and I know it’s not going to happen. So good luck on your journey further left.

Baker November 5, 2010 at 6:07 am

Wingo Bowersville, you pretty much nailed it. I think DuBose is one of the few folks who could really make some headway for Dems but if he’s not interested, that’s a pickle. I don’t think it matters so much if it’s a white male, but it has to be a pretty conservative Democrat for sure.

Howard Roark November 5, 2010 at 6:18 am

When Alan Powell leaves the democrat party one of the last conservative voices will be gone from their ranks. Check off the loss of one more white male from their ranks.

ACCmoderate November 5, 2010 at 10:10 am

I know a white male who would satiate the oddly liberal leanings of the DPG… Jimmy Carter.

Baker November 5, 2010 at 6:25 am

I think they missed an opportunity with the governor candidate nomination. Roy Barnes may have given them the best chance to win in what was apparently an absolutely no chance to win situation, but if they had nominated a different candidate the party might be more sure-footed for the future. One of the younger guys who could’ve gone out and really tried to get out the message of what it means to be a Democrat in Georgia. In a weird kind of way, Nathan Deal’s numerous ethics snafus hurt the Dem message because those issues were such low-hanging fruit for the Barnes camp to slam rather than defining and honing what statewide Dem governance would be.

Steve November 5, 2010 at 9:05 am

From the liberal blogs I’ve glanced at since the election, the Democratic faithful (or at least the white faithful who do 90% of the blogging) aren’t too enthusiastic about Thurmond. They tend not to see his campaign as having suffered from “lack of support from the state party”… but rather from “lack of Thurmond getting off his ass to do any campaigning”.

This seems more like a “it’s his turn” type thing, or a move to please factions within the ranks type thing, rather than a serious move toward competitiveness.

Erick Likes Puppies November 5, 2010 at 9:14 am

You also need to look at what he’s done as 1st Vice Chair for the past 4 years, which amounts to even less than he did campaigning for US Senate. He was a great Labor Commissioner, and I’ll leave it at that.

BoogDoc7 November 5, 2010 at 9:05 am

Is there anyone with a track record of winning elections and raising money that the DPG could get? I would imagine that should be the standard…

Ken in Eastman November 6, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I don’t think Zell is interested, either.

Mike Hauncho November 5, 2010 at 9:46 am

It does not matter if the DPG Chair is white, black, male, or female. They have lost connection with the people and the values they believe in and until this changes it will only get worse.

ACCmoderate November 5, 2010 at 10:32 am

The DPG needs to find some staffers who aren’t so overwhelmingly liberal and completely re-brand themselves.

The reality of Georgia is that it’s a conservative-leaning state. The Democrats that won here long ago were conservative Democrats. The only thing that changed after Nixon came through with his race-baiting “Southern Strategy” was the letters next to the elected officials names.

The DPG is never going to win elections by hammering a liberal message or running on a progressive agenda. It doesn’t matter what race or gender the candidate is if he or she is running on a platform that isn’t entirely different from that of the national party.

If the DPG wants to win, they need to shift right and start running away from the national party on major issues. Make a point of it too. If Tim Kaine gets pissed, so be it. Leadership at the DNC is smart enough to realize that its better to elect a conservative Democrat that will talk to them on some issues than a conservative Republican who won’t talk to them about anything.

Once the DPG starts hauling in candidates that have some conservative bona-fides along that can take back the message of the Democratic Party of old.

They need more of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcmeV83K02E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNUJky629eI

And less of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5C7iTxJrjg
http://www.youtube.com/watchv=8UVlL_ASh0s&feature=related

SallyForth November 7, 2010 at 10:19 pm

ACC, you make vital points. If the state party continues to ignore these realities, it will continue its downward spiral. Yet, once the pain of Nov. 2nd lessens, it’s likely the party will continue down the same road, as happened following the last election of a state chair.

To wit, in January 2007 there were two strong candidates for DPG chair. One was a man from metro Atlanta, the other a woman from northeast Georgia. Recognizing the need for pulling in Democrats from across the Georgia, the state committee members elected Jane Kidd from Athens, with the goal of adding Democrats outside of metro Atlanta to our base.

Didn’t happen. As soon as she was elected, Kidd cozied up with the Atlanta clique of LGBT’s, union bosses, African-Americans, and ultra-liberal whites who were salivating to take complete control of the party from her predecessor Bobby Kahn. She hired the clique’s recommended buddy as executive director (who had lost the Lt. Gov’s election for us in 2006) and turned the fate of the state party over to that clique. Although they were given plenty of money to work with, the hapless crew eschewed any institutional knowledge and ran head-long over the cliff in 2008 (despite the Obama turn-out effect that year) and an even worse cliff in 2010.

It’s a pretty sure bet that no matter who the state committee elects in a couple of months, that person will be cajoled and/or overwhelmed by the same clique. They don’t seem to actually care that Democrats are losing statewide, as long as they can continue to hold the party as their personal political tool.

Anybody got a solution for this?

Progressive Dem November 5, 2010 at 11:38 am

We have to define our brand instead of having Georgia Republicans defining it. Nobody knows what Democrats stand for. Second, the party must have some appeal to suburban white voters trough education or transportation policy. Intown liberals and African Americans are not sufficient to win. There appears to be an opportunity with women. We also have to figure out how to consistently get younger voters to the polls. Third we have to build from the base up. Just like in baseball, you must have a good minor league system to create a major league team. We need to find some races for county commissions, mayors and state reps where Democrats can be successful and recruit and groom candidates.

Steve November 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm

We have to define our brand instead of having Georgia Republicans defining it. Nobody knows what Democrats stand for.

Bingo. The only thing I learned from the DPG this year was that Deal might be corrupt, Cagle might have problems tying his shoes, and Jason Shepherd is a Jewish attempted murderer.

I voted for many of your candidates, but those were basically protest votes. I can’t name a single positive thing you guys ran on this year. In races where you’re going to lose, at least lose with class so you don’t harm your credibility for the longer-term.

Gerald November 5, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I will begin by being more “fair and balanced” than the AJC, NPR, CNN, ABC, CBS or MSNBC even tries to be. As 95% of blacks support the Democratic Party without any regard for the ethics, performance or qualifications of the Democratic nominee (or even their positions … most blacks in Georgia are not social liberals and have private sector jobs or own businesses) claiming that it is the whites with the race problem is inappropriate.

That being said, the best thing for the Democratic Party of Georgia is to simply wait 4 years. 4 years from now while the rest of the country will have recovered from the recession as the banking and housing/real estate sectors right themselves and the revenue from the expired Bush tax cuts lowers the deficit which thereby strengthens the dollar and increases investor confidence. (Also, the businesses and investors that were hoping to force the Obama administration to relent on their stance on the Bush tax cuts by refusing to hire are going to finally have to give up on that pipe dream. The truth is that we had 4.5% unemployment with those tax rates – put in place by Clinton – in place, and also had a federal surplus. Every Democrat and moderate Republican in the country knows this … the Clinton economic boom was longer and broader than the Bush one because the Clinton boom reduced and ultimately eliminated the deficit.) While the rest of the nation moves forward, a Georgia GOP defined first by their dislike of Atlanta, second by their misunderstanding of Reaganomics, and third by severe ethics problems (and a general lack of ideas despite boilerplate generalities produced by the national party that is designed to beat Democrats on a national and Congressional level, not to address specific problems, especially at the state level) won’t do a thing to address the transportation, water, education or economic development issues.

That would give the Democrats an opening, which shouldn’t be filled by a “me Reagan lover too!” conservative Democrat, but by a can-do “ideas” guy who just want to fix the old stuff that’s broken and build new stuff, and isn’t motivated by ideology or social issues. Examples: Bob Graham and Lawton Chiles of Florida, or Mike Easley of North Carolina.

Ken in Eastman November 6, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Why do Dem “ideas” all have to do with taking away individual rights and hitting people who work with higher and higher marginal tax rates?

How about something “new” and innovative that doesn’t include class warfare?

Progressive Dem November 7, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Obama lowered taxes for 95% of Americans.

Raising taxes on the top 2% which is those with incomes over $250K raises $700 B and $40 B in 2011 alone.

Jane November 7, 2010 at 12:40 am

You need someone who represents mainstream Democrat thought in Georgia. I nominate Vincent Ford. If he is not willing to run, How about Walking Small from Clayton County.

Harry November 7, 2010 at 9:21 am

Is that you Ms. Kidd? You looking for one more term?

Comments on this entry are closed.