As noted yesterday, Jimmy Carter’s formal statement on the passing of Edward Kennedy said nothing but good about the Massachusetts senator.
But on last night’s PBS “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” the former president was slightly more candid. Carter, who endured a challenge from Kennedy for the 1980 Democratic nomination for president, noted that Kennedy himself admitted that his personal failings limited his political career.
”But [Kennedy] more than made up for that, after 1980, and during the years that he served before in the Senate — and although after the [1969 ]Chappaquiddick incident occurred. And I think he suffered from the consequences of it. He bore it like a man, and he survived in the minds and hearts of the American people.”
On Facebook and elsewhere this morning, the most conservative Republicans in Georgia were pointing to the poor judgment of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who on Tuesday was caught saying something nice about President Barack Obama and Kennedy, his late colleague.
This from WRDW-TV in Augusta:
Chambliss attempted to set the record straight on what he calls misinformation.
“Say goodbye,” said Susan Swanson who is fed up with Washington lawmakers. “Kick out the bums. Kick them all out.”
She fears talk of health care reform.
“My concern is all this talk about death panels,” said Susan. “All the bureaucracy that people have to go through.”
The death panel rumors were given credence by Sarah Palin who campaigned with Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss in Augusta back in November. Chambliss is looking to distance himself from Palin on his latest trip to Augusta.
“I don’t agree with her that there will be death panels created by any of the plans that are out there,” said Chambliss.
Susan doesn’t know who to believe.
“It’s not Washington,” said Susan. “I don’t believe Washington.”
“I commend the president for spending political capital to bring this issue to the forefront,” said Chambliss. “We’ve talked about reforming health care for years, but we’ve never gotten around to it.”
Chambliss reached across the aisle as Senator Ted Kennedy, a champion for health care reform, [lost his battle with cancer].
“The Senate is a family,” said Chambliss. “We are all good friends within the Senate, and Senator Kennedy was a great legislator.”
A poll by Strategic Vision, a Republican strategy firm, issued on Wednesday shows Chambliss’ approval rating at 46 percent.
The SV poll also shows, as did an earlier Rasmussen poll, that the race for governor is in the summer doldrums. On the Republican side, SV has the following:
— John Oxendine 39% (last month 38%)
— Nathan Deal 13% (16%)
— Karen Handel 12% (9%)
— Eric Johnson 6% (5%)
— Austin Scott 3% (2%)
— Ray McBerry 2% (3%)
— Undecided 25% (27%)
In the Democratic race for governor:
— Roy Barnes 45% (46%)
— Thurbert Baker 29% (31%)
— David Poythress 4% (4%)
— DuBose Porter 2% (3%)
— Undecided 20% (16%)
A “Draft Roger Hines for State School Superintendent” has been established on Facebook. Hines is a former Republican state lawmaker from Kennesaw and close to House Speaker Glenn Richardson. Don’t know whether this is a sanctioned effort or not.
Democrats are pointing to a FAQ document on the web site run by U.S. Rep. David Scott of Atlanta. The title: “Responses to popular myths about the bill text of H.R. 3200.”
In front of a crowd of University of Georgia students, former Gov. Roy Barnes on Wednesday laid into the man who beat him in 2002, for cuts Republican incumbent Sonny Perdue has made to education. This from the Athens Banner-Herald:
Past Georgia governors always made it through recessions without teacher furloughs or expanding class sizes, Barnes said, including the downturn following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks during his term.
“It was like taking a spigot and turning off state revenue,” he said. “We have always been able to meet those challenges.”
Barnes said he would have closed special-interest tax loopholes, saving $400 million to $700 million, rather than furlough teachers.
While you ponder the above, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
Federal permit clears way for nuclear plants at Vogtle. Recession prompts MARTA to spend on image. Deal accused of ethics breach in watchdog group complaint. Atlanta police officers refuse to cooperate with citizen review board. Atlanta rigged airport contract, lawyer contends. Atlanta police chief sacks 911 director. Kennesaw settles race bias lawsuit. DeKalb County school system’s final report: Bullying not key factor in boy’s death. Lowery joins legal fight against Ga. coal plant.
Your Luckovich fix. Kyle Wingfield says probe shows 9/11 is, sadly, forgotten. Doctor — also a patient — considers the options.
From elsewhere in Georgia:
Macon Telegraph: Health care industry contributes heavily to Blue Dogs. Atlanta Unfiltered: Are budget, staff cuts undermining ethics enforcement?
NYT: Push for fast choice on successor to Kennedy. WP: Lab produces monkeys with two mothers. WSJ: Abortion is new front in health care battle.
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