In Which GriftDrift Pays Grudging Respect To Governor Deal

James Williams, who posts here regularly as griftdrift, wrote an op-ed for Creative Loafing about Governor Nathan Deal, in which he acknowledges our Governor’s best attribute (competence) while beating him over the head with the ethics accusations that fascinate the media and commentariat -but which bore voters. The whole thing is available at Creative Loafing via this link, and reprinted in full partially without permission below.

It takes “grudging” respect to a new level, and you should read the whole thing.

By James Williams

In 2009, I confidently predicted that then-Congressman Nathan Deal would drop out of the Georgia governor’s race before the Republican primary and then Secretary of State Karen Handel would be elected the first woman to hold the office.

In my mind there was no contest. Handel was a rising star in the Republican Party and Deal was a relatively unknown politician from the mountains. At that point, most knew the Hall County candidate only as a congressman who skedaddled out of Washington to avoid an ethics investigation.

Shortly thereafter, I received an email from a retired newspaperman saying I was as dumb as a post. In colorful language, he explained how Deal looked and sounded like a governor to people who actually vote.

A year later, following Deal’s triumph over Handel in the primary and thumping of Democrat Roy Barnes in the general election, I received a second email from my journalist friend containing a well-worded and thoroughly profane “I told you so.”

Pundits, rivals, and opposition have always underestimated Deal. And it is happening again.

Click here to finish reading (good stuff to follow) and to give our friends at CL their clicks.


  1. Baker says:

    A few things on a pretty good piece from Mr. Williams:

    1) If you’re paying attention, I would say rather than a “whiff” of corruption, it’s been more like standing next to the chicken discard pit at one of the processing plants in Deal’s former district. The Real Pac business is no surprise at all.
    He’s cruising to re-election because a) most voters don’t pay any attention until right before an election & b) plenty of Republicans are so tired of hearing the national media slander them they pretty much won’t believe anything said about Deal’s dirty dealings. I’m talking about people that think the AJC is liberal garbage (and trust me, that number in Gwinnett, Cobb, and elsewheres is pretty big).
    2) The port is supremely important. Not just for Georgia, but the whole east coast and the country. With that in mind, I don’t think it shows any great leadership for Deal to be working to get it done. Of course he is, it’s the only gall darned thing Dems and Repubs can agree on right now.
    3) He has shown good judgement in his handling of the DeKalb debacle, but in general, it feels like we’re Sonny II when basically he’s a placeholder who gets the job because he’s a a Republican and then does very little. Don’t attract attention, lay low, don’t ruffle any feathers, status quo. Personally, I think Georgia can do better.
    4) How bout that tax reform eh?!
    5) Kasim Reed may have a future in Georgia politics, but his odds of unseating Deal would not be very good. It would certainly get nasty but Deal would still cruise I think.

  2. DeKalb Wonkette says:

    Agree 100 percent with Grift Drift. I too was a doubter but he’s been an extremely competent Governor.

  3. Spacey G says:

    Too bad that mere “wiff” of corruption seems to be growing to a stench, given all the dirt unearthing lately going on at the AJC — on Deal and his BFF, Kasim. Heck, they keep up the pace of their pressure on City Hall alone, and they’ll be wearing big boy journalism pants again. Except Kevin Riley’s laying-off another round of folk now, so I hear. Pity. They’re starting to hit their stride again, after years of being “managed” right into the crapper by “leadership” such as Wallace, etc.

    Oh, I see. This was a post about how great the governor really is. *yawn*

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