To David Perdue, Jack Kingston and Michelle Nunn: Congratulations on making it this far in your quest to become our newest U.S. Senator. As you prepare for the next phase of your campaign, I thought I would pass along to you some unsolicited advice for your consideration. Please don’t thank me. It was either this or clean out my sock drawer.
Don’t tell anybody because it might damage my reputation as a nattering nabob of negativism or whatever, but I think you are all capable of representing Georgia ably in the Senate. Of course we know that with the exception of our soon-to-be senior senator, Johnny Isakson and a precious few others, the performance bar isn’t all that high to begin with.
I have been around the political block enough times to know that most of what you say and do over the next months will be dictated by Inside-the-Beltway strategists who couldn’t find Hahira if you walked them to the city limits. They are going to do polls and focus groups and opposition analysis and the like. Because you are paying them big bucks, you will feel inclined to take their advice. Just remember, it’s not their fanny that’s on the line, it’s yours. They get paid whether you win or lose. Consultants are smart like that but they don’t know everything. Trust your gut.
If they recommend robocalls, suggest to them that We the Unwashed hate, abhor and detest robocalls. Tell your strategists you know for a fact that anybody who actually listens to a robocall is too dumb to vote and chew gum at the same time. Hint to them darkly that you have heard that a certain newspaper columnist is working on a device that will intercept robocalls and forward them to their house at dinnertime or when they are on the potty. Of course, I haven’t figured out the details of how to make it work yet, but they don’t need to know that.
I wish there was some way you could promote your candidacy without going negative but that is naïve on my part. Attack ads are a part of the game — always have been, always will be. For some reason, it seems to be difficult in politics to build yourself up without tearing your opponent down.
Mr. Perdue and Rep. Kingston: Remember that whoever wins the Republican runoff election in July still has to run in the general election in November. Try not to do too much damage to each other over the next two months. Republicans have a well-known propensity for eating their dead.
Ms. Nunn: Your problem can be summed up in two words: Barack Obama. He’s not exactly a hot commodity these days in Georgia and convincing voters you can be an effective senator without hewing the Democratic Party line is going to require a bit of political legerdemain. Be prepared for the rhetorical storm to come this summer from whoever your Republican opponent may be.
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