Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What Are We Going to Do About Saxby? (Updated)

Over the holiday, I read Bill Shipp's piece encouraging, tongue in cheek, Dale Cardwell to run for senate as a republican. At the moment, I don't see a candidate in the race who-based on current performance and past experience-can beat Saxby. It's not that Saxby is such a great candidate-he's not. A well-positioned, well-funded candidate might've had a shot at him. He's definitely made some mistakes. But, let's be honest. Right now, can any of our guys win? I don't think so.

I know nothing about Josh Lanier other than what I have read on his website and on Tondees. My question is, "how if the money rolling in?" And, I'd like to know a little more about him. He lacks name ID, and that's expensive to create.

Regarding Dale Cardwell, I think that democrats may look back on that race as a missed opportunity. I have my issues with him, as I wrote earlier this month. But, to unseat an incumbent, you need a candidate who is not a typical politician. I like Dale's "fighting for the little guy" thing, and I like some of his positions, but as I have told him, I just get completely derailed when his answer to "what is your top issue" continues to be "to secure our borders." He says that he has polling that shows that's a top issue for Georgia voters. I have my doubts about his numbers. First, I don't know whether he is referring to a poll he commissioned or a public poll of some sort. I suspect it's the latter, and I suspect that the numbers are skewed. When we polled issues for a legislative race in Middle Georgia, illegal immigration was no where near the top issue for general election voters. It wasn't even in the top three. So, this may be a burning issue somewhere in Georgia, but not in my town. So, what about Cardwell now? He needs to raise a whole lot of money fast and refine his message or he is probably not going to be viable, even to win the primary.

And, then there's Vernon Jones. Look, without getting deep into it, let me just say that despite the theme music from "Rocky" that opens his site, given his history, Saxby would have to seriously do a Foley for Jones to have any chance of beating him. I just don't see it happening.
But he's the most likely candidate to win the primary.

Maggie Martinez has also thrown her hat into the ring but seems to have an even bigger hill to climb in terms of name recognition. Again, I know little about this candidate, and I'm in the "tuned in" category of voters. And, then there are the issues with her website. But it would be fun to watch her and Cardwell debate immigration policy.

So, what do we do? I think democrats are waiting for a savior, and I see none in site. Frankly, based on this field, I think that we have members of the state legislature who would make more viable candidates.

Update: Yesterday, I left Rand Knight off this post, unintentionally. Here's a link to his site. Again, I need to know more about him. Anyone else I missed?


Josh Lanier said...

Well, Mrs. Morton, setting aside that you may know little about me, you may wish to bother learning more about Ms. Martinez so that you could elaborate on the fun you would have watching her and Dale debate immigration policy.

Ms. Martinez is an American from Puerto Rico. Would your fun come from her surname or from your implications on her English?

Elitism is so not Democratic. Frankly, even a member of the state legislature would know that.

Don Thieme said...

One thing that I will say for Saxby is that he works very hard. He answers promptly even the most automated notes that I send off from email lists. I was impressed with how he stood up to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over their drawdown of Lake Lanier two summers back.

We need to find Democrats who work that hard and are as sincere. It seemed like you were suggesting in this post that Vernon Jones did not have name recognition. I only wish that were the case.

James Bell said...

Let's face it, Saxby is the best politician money can buy.

Best hope for Dems. is that Libertarians pull 5% of the vote in Nov. and force a run off and make Saxby spend his money. Then hope the R's stay home for the run off.

Otherwise, challengers will only have a soap box to push issues.

There's no way to compete with special interest money.

Amy Morton said...

James, your're right about the "best politician money can buy" part. Until we have real reform on campaign finance and lobbyist spending, that will always be the case with an incumbent.

Don, ah, yes, you have hit upon it as well, the power of incumbency. Constituancy services is one of the best tools an incumbent has at his or her disposal. Marshall uses that well, too. And, they should. It's part of the reason they've elected, but it does have an impact on the election for sure. It's one of those getting something good for doing something good things, not something I would not be critical of but just be aware of. And, on the Vernon Jones name ID, I hear you. It's a little different outside metro where he is not as well known. The question is whether that helps or hurts him in the primary. I'm not sure. As I look at this field-and I left out Rand Knight unintentionally and will correct today-I still have the feeling that Cardwell could be a real missed opportunity. There's so much positive about him from the perspective of a "change" candidate. And he could run well on the corruption issue. I just don't know if it's going to happen.

Josh, Ms. Martinez does not include a statement in her platfrom on illegal immigration-if she does, I couldn't find it-and it is Dale's top issue. Plus, Ms. Martinez has had the experience of living outside the 50 states. Chances are, that would give her a perspective different than his.
And, every candidate who puts up a website needs to have more than one person proof the site. It's easy to make mistakes. I make mistakes all the time and bet I've made quite a few in this comment alone. But, I'm not running for office. Having someone-or two or three-proof your site is just campaign 101. But, welcome to the race. I would actually like to know more about you.

Tina said...

I had the pleasure of hearing both Dale Cardwell and Rand Knight at the GFDW state meeting at Clayton State College in October and both acquitted themselves well. Both are excellent public speakers. Dr. Knight is an "environmentalist with a difference" in that he is a passionate believer in the capacity of the United States to be a world leader in business AND ecology. Cardwell emphasizes his considerable investigative and political analysis experience. Vernon Jones spoke to the Middle Georgia Democratic Women's Club in November -- his is a management message, with heavy emphasis on what will be best for Georgia and Georgians. I have corresponded with Josh Lanier, the only south-of-the perimeter candidate, and he is a nice guy and another good Democrat who deserves to be heard. He will be speaking at the state meeting of the Georgia Federation of Democratic Women on March 1 in Warner Robins, and we look forward to hearing his message. We have also invited Maggie Martinez to the meeting on March 1, so she will have the opportunity to share her views and experience some Middle Georgia hospitality too. The fact that we have so many interesting candidates competing for a Democratic run against the Republican incumbent may just indicate that "the message, my friend, is blowing in the wind..." Go Democrats !

Open+Transparent said...

OMG, Vernon Jones speaking to a women's club??? Either Vernon has no shame and/or that women's club has no clue about Vernie's asorted past...

Tina said...

We want to hear as many candidates as possible--we love politics !