Why Have Democrats Forgotten About Michael Thurmond?

Michael Thurmond is returning to his alma mater, Paine College, hoping to find millions to cut from the school’s budget and stave of probation.

Should he succeed, Thurmond would be one of the best-positioned potential candidates in Georgia (in my opinion). After leaving the Labor Commissioner’s office, he’s served as Dekalb County Schools’ interim superintendent, taking the district off probation. By all accounts I’ve heard, he was a solid administrator at the Labor Commissioner’s office. He’s also written a well-regarded book  and has an impressive resume and life story. Thurmond, I’ve been told, has not ruled out a return to politics, either.

Now I’m not saying he’s perfect–far from it. His Senate campaign was at best non-existent and he didn’t really do anything when he was 1st Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia, which surely burned many bridges.

However, on paper, he seems to be one of the better choices to recruit for office–if his heart is in the campaign and Democrats want him back.


  1. jbgotcha says:

    Thurmond should take no credit for Dekalb Schools. He has not yet fulfilled a promise to do a forensic audit of the schools budget. He also has done nothing to cut administrative waste. He is a self-serving politician. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him run again soon…it probably the only reason he took the DeKalb job. He gets to talk a big game, see marginal success, take credit for any progress, and bail out to run for another office before the crap really hits the fan…all with a six figure salary. What really bothers me is how you can’t get rid of crappy politicians. They keep showing up and running for stuff…they will wait 10 years if that’s what it takes for political amnesia to set in among the populace.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Bit of a diatribe there.

      The district yet has a long way to go, but Thurmond (and the Board) did a respectable job. Thurmond took over with things a mess. Staved off loss of accreditation, and helped get the trajectory going right. Stepped away as he said he would.

      The state is wasting talent. Turnaround experience has been added to proven administrator.

  2. David C says:

    Perhaps because the last time he ran for some kind of statewide office, he forgot all about actually running. Guy raised more money to run for Labor Commissioner than Senator. http://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary.php?id=GAS2&cycle=2010 You can talk about him being a no hoper, but look at the race in NC (just as unlikely a race for the Dem to win) from the same cycle. http://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary.php?id=NCS2&cycle=2010 Resumes are nice, but resumes alone don’t win you actual political support.

  3. Jon Lester says:

    I think we’ve seen ample evidence, since Thurmond’s Senate run, that Georgia Democrats have been feckless at best since then, so I don’t think he should bear all the blame for how that campaign went. It was also neither the first nor last time that the state party would hang a good candidate out to dry.

    • Harry says:

      Thurmond in fact was a token. They knew he’d lose, but they occasionally need to show a black face at the top of the ticket. It’s the same story this year with their down ticket minorities.

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