The Nunn Campaign–DOA?

Ed’s post below is part of a point/counterpoint on unease about Michelle Nunn’s candidacy for United States Senate. Stefan will respond to the points made below.

Michelle Nunn’s campaign may be running into some substantial problems before it even really gets going.

I’ve heard from several Democrats who say they are growing increasingly frustrated with her stance on key Democratic positions. Dissent started to show with her comments on the VRA. While still in a Democratic primary, she took the same side as Justice Scalia on one of the most historically important pieces of legislation for Democrats. She also can’t articulate how she doesn’t really know if she would have voted for Obamacare. Now, regardless of the merits of her argument, it is pretty stupid politically to say to your base: “yeah, I just don’t care about your issues.” Honestly, are there any voters right now who have no thoughts on Obamacare? Who does she hope to attract with her milquetoast moderatism?

Primary turnout numbers also show some potentially troubling signs for Democrats. While not an apples-to-apples comparison, almost two times more Republicans than Democrats voted in last Tuesday‘s top races . For senate it was 603,704 Republican votes to 327,451 for the Democrats. The Governor’s race was similarly lopsided: 594,588 to 303,053. Lite Governor: 493,904 to 275,619. In Clayton, Dekalb and Fulton counties, where most D votes will come from, Tuesday’s bad turnout was respectively: 14.8%, 20.2% and 16.4%. Dekalb is certainly the more worrisome for Democrats as there was a contested congressional primary, sheriff primary and  Vernon Jones, the most divisive Dekalb politician ever, was on the ballot. Starting off with an enthusiasm gap and several hundred thousand votes in the hole does not augur well for future success.

While there are polls that show this is a competitive race, I just don’t buy them. Yes, I realize I am going with a gut feeling over science but I just don’t see how the political landscape has changed for Democrats in Georgia. Nathan Deal hasn’t done anything particularly bad as Governor, the Legislature is its usual inept self and looking more broadly, it appears this fall will be a wave election for Republicans.

Nunn is also pretty bad qua candidate. As I said earlier, she has no personality, she can’t articulate that she has no opinions and she just isn’t photogenic.

Yes a lot could happen between now and November. But Democrats have a very tough road ahead of them and I don’t think Nunn is doing the Donkeys any favors.


  1. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    I think it’s clear what issues she doesn’t stand for, problem is no one knows what she DOES stand for. Well apart from Volunteering in your community.

  2. Baker says:

    You honestly think she doesn’t share Democratic positions? She wants to win silly.

    “Who does she hope to attract with her milquetoast moderatism?” I’ll tell you who…my grandmother…who I love dearly and really is a brilliant woman…but she’s 85…she can’t/doesn’t use the internet and outside of the internet, where are you going to find out real news on state politics? Not in the Gainesville Times print edition. They print that she won’t take a position on this or that and that leaves her wiggle room with a lot of people who aren’t too plugged in on this stuff. MANY voters older than 50 remember her father very well and think that she will be like him. Alas, that Democrat party has long since died…but not everyone knows that.

    • Bill Dawers says:

      It will be interesting to see what happens with the polling among older voters in the coming months. In that Rasmussen poll in the governor’s race yesterday, which had truly awful numbers for Nathan Deal, Deal nevertheless had a huge margin (+33%) over Carter among those 65 and older. If Sam Nunn can boost his daughter’s position by even just a few points among older voters, it may not matter what positions she takes on anything.

        • DrGonzo says:

          I don’t blame Bridget for her position. I’ve watched great female and minority candidates – smart, genuine people that would have done a great job in office – be totally ignored by the GAGOP for years in favor of good ole’ boys. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that a lot of women that are ‘Republican’ when hubby is around will be voting for Nunn come November, for the sheer fact that they never, ever have strong female Republicans to vote for on their side. Deny as much as you want, GAGOP is still dominated by white males who could care less about you if you’re a woman or minority. Not saying they’re racist (maybe a little sexist though), just saying they don’t care about you.

      • Salmo says:

        I have a feeling that the “militant feminists who vote against their own political leanings” demographic will not be especially significant in this race. There might be a few dozen of you in total.

        • A militant feminist? That’s a new banner for me, Salmo.

          “Are you tired of being under represented, ladies? Are you tired of all male incumbents mismanaging your taxes when you know plenty of women you’d better trust to develop a budget? Do you know somewhere in your heart that it will take the heart of a woman to get this country back on track? Vote for a modern Georgia woman, a CEO, a successful leader who can communicate to both sides of the aisle up in Washington. Michelle Nunn for Senate.”

          Yeah, there’s a chance it could just be me standing alone…. but I still pick up the banner. At dawn, we ride 😉 xx

          • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

            Ms. Cantrell, I may not necessarily agree with your policy position and/or your support of Michelle Nunn, but I do respect your conviction to stick with your position despite extreme criticism.

              • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                “I haven’t felt this good about something since working to defeat TSPLOST.”

                Now defeating the T-SPLOST felt [darned] good. When you put it in those terms, I can totally relate…

              • Baker says:

                Wow: “all male incumbents mismanaging your taxes” A) You don’t think Michelle Nunn is going to mismanage your taxes? B) If she had been around on the policy scene, I 100% guarantee you Nunn would’ve favored TSPLOST. I’m flabbergasted.

                PS: “Communicate to both sides of the aisle”? You are really eating this stuff up. She’s just like any of them except for, in Ga at least, the “she” part.

                  • Baker says:

                    If it had been Nunn instead of Saxby, she definitely would’ve voted for Obamacare. If it had been instead of Saxby, she definitely would’ve voted for the “stimulus”. If it had been Nunn instead of Saxby, she would’ve rubber stamped Barack Obama over and over except in the rarest of circumstances to assure she might have some tiny chance of getting reelected (See Landrieu and Pryor).

                    And this -> “Y’all are just ticked that multiple tides are turning against you at the same time. You’re not kicking to get above water – just screaming.”

                    Again. That is outrageous. You sound exactly like the Left. I suppose I’m also racist because I oppose Barack Obama? It has nothing to do with me abhorring almost every aspect of his ideology. I’m a racist.

              • Salmo says:

                Perhaps, then, you’ll get stuck in Atlanta traffic while trying to get to the precinct to vote for your candidate for whom you’ve yet to give any reason to vote for other than her gender. If you have one (particularly given your proclaimed conservative credentials), I’d love to hear it. How do you feel knowing that your original choice, Karen Handel, will not be backing you and Nunn in feminist solidarity?

                How would you feel if I told you that I was going to vote for Kingston/Perdue in the general because I didn’t believe that I could vote for a woman as they aren’t capable of effective governance? Because that’s exactly what you’re doing here. That’s sexism at its root.

                • “How would you feel if I told you that I was going to vote for Kingston/Perdue in the general because I didn’t believe that I could vote for a woman as they aren’t capable of effective governance?”

                  Hon, you don’t have to use words to describe the obvious. (Don’t get bunched – just having some fun.) Georgia has been living “sexism at its root” for decades. Y’all are just ticked that multiple tides are turning against you at the same time. You’re not kicking to get above water – just screaming.

                  Karen is entitled to her own opinion as is Julianne and everyone else. I’ll still participate in forums to discuss how to effectively include women in the GOP. I’ll still vote in GOP primaries and as I said on another thread, I’ll be voting for Kingston in the runoff. Should Michelle not win, I would rather have him over Perdue.

                  I’m voting for Michelle Nunn because she’s a very capable leader. All of you want to paint her as a soccer mom pulling together the local community for a service project. Hands On Atlanta and then Points of Light was/is a well-oiled machine with her at the helm. She gave herself at $53k paycut during tough times…. name one guy in Congress who would do that. [echo-o-o]

                  • Baker says:

                    “She gave herself at $53k paycut during tough times…. name one guy in Congress who would do that. [echo-o-o]”

                    Most likely true. But there are more than just guys in Congress and I don’t believe for one second any of those women would’ve given themselves a paycut either.

                  • Salmo says:

                    So, just making sure I have your point straight…

                    Since you feel that men have been voting based on sexism in Georgia for decades, you also feel it is OK for you to now vote based on sexism? That’s a weird way to look at things.

                    Can you at least spell out one reason why, in your mind, Michelle Nunn would be a more effective leader for Georgia in the Senate than Jack Kingston?

                    • Jack Kingston has been in full-time office since 1993 – 21.5 years. How about you sell me on how he’s an effective leader and why I should vote for him over Michelle Nunn? Reason #1: Michelle has proven her leadership skills throughout her career by steering the largest volunteer service organization in the world. Her leadership provides a ripple effect that positively affects millions of people.

                      I’m still piecing together my feelings on the Monsanto rider, but it’s encouraging that Kingston was named legislator of the year by the BIO. /

                      Who knows – your sharp debate skills might just win me back over 😉

                    • Baker says:

                      “Monsanto rider”

                      Now you’ve got me wondering…I think it’s awful.

                      I don’t know what to think about the zillions of theories on Monsanto & GMOs being unsafe etc. (some claim cancer and birth defects…that seems pretty dubious) but their power is spooky and so under the radar. I didn’t go so far as to march in the recent anti-Monsanto parade but some extra attention paid to the long, basically invisible arm of Monsanto is good news. I know it’s not invisible to those of you involved in Ag in some way but when was the last time a network or cable news show talked Monsanto?

                      All that said…for me it’s definitely not a Kingston disqualifier.

                    • Salmo says:

                      Sure. I’d argue that rising to House Appropriations chair is a really big f’ing deal as he’s probably the fourth-most powerful member (behind the Speaker, Majority Leader, and Majority Whip) in a body of 435. For someone who has chosen a career in public service, he’s done far more than the overwhelming majority of his colleagues.

                      I’d also point out that he won around 75% of the votes from the people he has represented for those 21+ years in a primary with six legitimate candidates. One can’t pull that off without being a strong leader for their own district.

          • Doug Grammer says:

            I’ve met Bridget Cantrell. She has/had a lot of potential. She’s full of energy and I thought she was right on most of the issues. I can only guess that she’s bumped her head. If she wants the GOP to elect strong women, she’s headed in the wrong direction. I could have seen her running for commissioner or State Rep. one day. She could have been the strong GOP female candidate that she was looking for. Now she will be eaten alive in a primary for openly supporting Nunn, if she ever decides to run. No future in the GOP anytime soon.

            I guess sex matters more than policy. It doesn’t matter if Nunn would have been better than Sen. Chambliss. What matters is would she be better on the issues more than the two remaining GOP candidates. (She won’t be on most issues.)

            RIP Bridget Cantrell’s political future.

            • Why didn’t you see me running for Governor or Senator, Doug? It looks like Nathan Deal was certainly eaten alive for his stint as a Democrat :/

              Karen played by the rules. Tricia played by the rules. Donna played by the rules. As Albie Einstein said – the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again expecting different results.

              It’s duly noted and filed that you were the first to predict my political demise. 🙂

              • Doug Grammer says:

                Baby steps….one thing at a time. Unless you do something really outstanding outside of the realm of politics, you are not going to be able to work your way up. Our Gov. started as a Judge, went to State Senate, then Congress, and so on. I just don’t see that happening for you now. Gov. Deal never left the GOP once he joined.

                Karen almost won the governorship. She didn’t win because she ticked off most of the GOP State Reps and Senators. It had nothing to do with her sex for most voters, unless we want to rehash if she actually joined the Log Cabin Republicans. Those feeling were carried over in this race. She’s a great person, but it’s hard to win when you tick off the people who can help you most. That’s why they rallied around Gov. Deal.

                Tricia lost because people liked and knew Barr and Loudermilk better than they knew and liked her. I haven’t looked to see how much money she raised, but I imagine that played a part.

                I didn’t watch Donna’s race that closely, so I have a no comment there.

                I’m not predicting a political demise, I am proclaiming it. What’s that show on AMC on Sunday nights? The Walking Political Dead?

                • Doug Grammer says:

                  If the complaint is that there are no elected GOP females in statewide office, we’ve had at least three in the past that I can think of. However, I don’t cast my vote based just on gender or skin color. Political party? I might be guilty on that one, but I usually sort that out in the primary. There a very few Republicans that I really want out of office, but they exist.

                • southernpol says:

                  The 10th district is not a media-driven district. In order to win, you have to be known and have been around a while. Donna had no chance unless she could have spent 1.5 million+. Going up against Hice (who ran in 2010) and Collins was impossible without that kind of funding. You can’t chalk this loss up to Donna being a woman.

                  Same goes for Tricia. Great person, would do a great job — unfortunately for her, she was likely the 2nd pick for almost everyone that didn’t vote for her (she was my 2nd pick).

                  If Donna had been from Cobb and ran in the 11th, with her amount of service in the House, she’d be in the runoff against Loudermilk. (Or if Tricia had Donna’s amount of service.. either way).

                  As for Handel – she was cash-strapped in comparison to the top 2 and probably had some lingering unfavorables from 2010.

                  And before you say she couldn’t raise money because she was a woman, I’m pretty sure Tricia was 2nd in fundraising in the 11th and Donna was 1st in the 10th.

            • DrGonzo says:

              I would remind Doug Grammer that Sonny Perdue was a Republican for MAYBE five years before he became Governor of the state. I think Bridget will be fine.

        • DrGonzo says:

          As I mentioned above, I would not be surprised to find there are going to be a lot of women that are “GOP” when hubby is around, but will be voting “Nunn” in the secrecy of the voting booth…

  3. David C says:

    Anytime Ed tells me how he knows someone is a bad candidate in his gut, I remember how excited he was for Mark Taylor ’06. Great pick that was. So what if he lost by 20 points , man he was photogenic though!

  4. DrGonzo says:

    “…it is pretty stupid politically to say to your base: “yeah, I just don’t care about your issues.””

    Why not? It seems to be working for the GOP for a long time now. Who else are they going to vote for, considering third party candidates in Georgia are hunted down and shot after they announce for office?

  5. Melb says:

    Ed, Wtf??? Are you really attacking Michelle for not being photogenic?? Let me guess, you must think Kingston is a real looker or maybe you are into the denim/denim of Perdue??? You may have some valid points or at least one about the turnout, but to go for the photogenic dig is shallow.

    • Ed says:

      Well, the point is that “looking good on TV” is significant to a large swath of the population….

      • Stop being a turd, Ed.

        1. She looks great.
        2. Perdue and Kingston will not be judged on being photogenic.
        3. You’re trolling. You’re better than that – write something of substance. I have faith in you, champ.

        • Ed says:

          1) FWIW, by “photogenic” I don’t mean glamorous, but at least graceful on TV. And from what I’ve seen, she isn’t.
          2) Yes they will. Hell, they’re even going for a specific TV look (could you get more cliched Southern Republican than Kingston? No.)
          3) No, I’m not. (Trolling or better than that.)

        • Will Durant says:

          1. Sam was originally uncomfortable in front of cameras as well.
          2. Galloway envies Perdue’s “nice hair”, where’s the outrage?
          3. Yeah, this was an obvious lob to setup a Stefan spike.

          Be honest though, if she looked & talked like Scarlett Johansson wouldn’t she lose some of the female vote? I know it is shallow but so is a large portion of the voting public. Ever since Kennedy/Nixon make-up/no-make-up tv debate appearance it has been a factor, especially on the boob tube (intended solely in its original etymology and in no way implies a politically incorrect reference to portions of the female anatomy).

  6. Jane says:

    Michelle is more a Murray Hill than a Dirty Martini, but some of her base will find her attractive.

    • Ed says:

      I don’t even know what this means by why is it controversial to say that aesthetics play a large role in elections? I don’t mean pretty is the only way to win but the image and TV presence of candidates is an incredibly important part of campaigns.

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