So far as we can tell, NBC made the most extensive use of President Jimmy Carter’s observations about race and Barack Obama.
Here’s the clip from Carter’s interview with Brian Williams in Atlanta:
“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American. I live in the South. And I’ve seen the South come a long way. And I’ve seen the rest of the country, that shared the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African-Americans.
“That racism inclination still exists. And I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of a belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and grieves me and concerns me very deeply.”
The interviewed aired after the U.S. House officially censured Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for his outburst last week during Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress, and after two Georgia congressmen _ David Scott and Hank Johnson _ said Wilson’s remarks were indicative of racial undertones that have swelled since Obama’s election.
You know that former Georgia Supreme Court chief justice Leah Ward Sears on Tuesday endorsed former prosecutor Ken Hodges in the Democratic race for attorney general.
Hodges faces state Rep. Rob Teilhet (D-Smryna) in next year’s primary. Teilhet was endorsed this week by Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur), the chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus, as well as a several top Democrats from the Savannah area.
Among them were state Rep. Al Williams of Midway, the immediate past president of the black caucus. How effective that endorsement will be is open to question: Williams has appeared on a list of delinquent tax filers kept by the Department of Revenue.
On the Republican side of the race for attorney general, Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens has won the endorsement of House Speaker pro tem Mark Burkhalter of Johns Creek, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock, and Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams of Lyons. House Rules Chairman Earl Ehrhart of Powder Springs and Jan Jones of Alpharetta have also jumped on board.
Georgia Equality, the gay rights group, has endorsed Lisa Borders in the Atlanta race for mayor. Southern Voice has a portion of the endorsement posted online:
Borders, the current City Council President, stands out among a group of highly-qualified mayoral candidates running this year. The Georgia Equality Board of Directors found Borders to be the candidate with the best fluency and understanding of the issues important to LGBT Atlantans, as well as the candidate best-equipped to govern a city in need of a decisive leader with keen insight into public safety and municipal management.
Borders on Tuesday also launched the first TV spot in the campaign, touting her “tough” choice to support a property tax increase to end public safety furloughs. The campaign of Kasim Reed took issue:
It’s misleading and disingenuous for Ms. Borders to take credit for ending the furloughs when her lack of leadership was the very reason our public safety officers were furloughed in the first place. These furloughs were a direct result of her opposition to a modest half mill increase for the 2008 budget. Apparently, Ms. Borders thought furloughs of police officers and firefighters were just fine until she decided to run for Mayor.
You saw that state Sen. Eric Johnson of Savannah, once the top dog in that chamber, has resigned his seat _ which will allow him to raise campaign contributions during next year’s legislative session. It is the political equivalent of burning one’s boats on the shore.
And it’s something that state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine says he won’t do: “As for me, I want to reaffirm that I will continue to remain on duty for Georgia as I promised,” he said in a statement shortly after Johnson’s decision was announced.
Meanwhile, for those of you who think that much of politics is loud, sweaty and often scripted, there’s this:
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. today announced that Linda McMahon has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer after announcing her candidacy for the United States Senate, representing the state of Connecticut. Vince McMahon assumes the duties of Chief Executive Officer in addition to his current position as WWE® Chairman.
While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com
Wilson’s son says congressman is not racist. Borders, Reed tout mayoral endorsements. Johnson resigns from Senate, allowing him more fund-raising freedom. AARP won’t get answers to more than 140 questions it had for AGL. Douglas County nixes Sunday drinks. Clayton voters approve schools SPLOST. Cobb County says no to renting Vinings condos. Bernice King knew where Coretta’s love letter was. Stimulus helps $331 million in transportation projects.
Cynthia Tucker on the role of racism in health care debate. Teach and reward good sportsmanship. Commercial real estate crisis threatens recovery.
From elsewhere in Georgia:
Cordele Dispatch: Jody Powell’s death stuns community.
NYT: Iran arrests children of dissident clerics. NYT: The good ol’ boys. WP: Many employers to raise cost of health benefits, survey finds. WSJ: Spy chief says U.S. hunting al Qaeda more effectively.
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.