Your morning jolt: Behind Michael Thurmond’s run for the U.S. Senate

Michael Thurmond, known as one of the most cautious men in Georgia politics, spent the weekend on the phone with the essential stage hands of the state Democratic party, explaining the gamble he’s about to take.

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. Bob Andres/AJC

State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond. Bob Andres/AJC

The three-term state labor commissioner has plans on Wednesday – moved from Tuesday, as first reported — to announce his U.S. Senate candidacy against Republican incumbent Johnny Isakson.

 

Consider that Thurmond is, like Attorney General Thurbert Baker or former Gov. Roy Barnes, an A-list Democrat – often mentioned as a candidate for higher office, but never taking the plunge.

Also consider that Isakson may be the strongest and most popular Republican in Georgia.

So the question becomes whether Thurmond, a former state lawmaker from Athens, has been hiding a passion for the roulette wheel.

The answer is yes – and no.

Thurmond is better than good on the stump, and has a friendly demeanor that goes down well with voters. But he’s enough of a politician to understand the risk.

There are always unknowns. Isakson, 65, has had some health issues this spring. Polling has shown some vulnerability. And while the tea party movement has added emotion to the Republican side of the ledger, it’s also added a certain brittleness.

But the known knowns, as Donald Rumsfeld might say, include this: Isakson has raised $6 million for his re-election bid. And a contest against him is an uphill slog by any measure.

So what, short of outright victory in November, is Thurmond up to?

Politics is very rarely a team sport – but we may be seeing the equivalent of a sacrifice fly to deep right field, for the sake of advancing or protecting the Democratic runners already on base.

Thurmond is a sign that Democrats in Georgia and in Washington, with reapportionment coming next year, are dead serious about November.

Point One: All four major Democratic candidates for governor are casting Republican ineptitude in the state Capitol as the issue that will carry them into the general election.

The GOP, on the other hand, will do its best to tie Democrats to Washington and President Barack Obama, who does not poll well here in Georgia. Not among white independents. The economy will be the topic.

Isakson would be a major vehicle for nationalizing the Georgia contest. If the GOP incumbent, at the top of the ballot, clears much beyond 60 percent, strategists figure then Democratic chances of winning the race for governor disappear.

Whether the candidate is Barnes, Baker, DuBose Porter or David Poythress.

And right now, the only Democrat in the Senate race is the unknown and unfunded R.J. Hadley.

By putting up an A-list candidate fluent in the language of jobs and the economy, who just happens to be African-American, Democrats will be taking a large step toward preventing an Isakson-driven avalanche.

And remember that no one anticipated the September ‘08 economic bust that forced a runoff between Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin.

Point Two: Thurmond had been spoken of as a candidate for lieutenant governor. But Carol Porter, wife of the Democratic candidate for governor, jumped in first.

Arguably, Thurmond might have beaten Carol Porter, but at the cost of a divided Democratic electorate that still bears the scars of the Cathy Cox/Mark Taylor debacle.

Thurmond’s shift to the U.S. Senate race in essence hands Carol Porter the Democratic nomination for a post that has never gone to a woman. Carol Porter could be the highest-ranking woman in state government.

Which means the contest against Republican incumbent Casey Cagle is sure to generate interest through November.

Moreover, let’s suppose that DuBose Porter does not win the Democratic contest for governor. By assuring Carol Porter’s nomination for lieutenant governor, you guarantee that the House Democratic leader will remain engaged.

Point three: In the Democratic race for governor, Thurmond’s entrance as a U.S. Senate candidate is likely to benefit Barnes.

Baker, while he has differed with other African-Americans in the party over such volatile issues as Genarlow Wilson, has a legitimate claim on black voters. Barnes likewise has a claim on African-American voters, through his decision to change the ‘56 state flag.

But with Thurmond at the top of the state ballot, racial loyalty immediately becomes a lesser issue. And if Barnes is indeed the Democratic nominee, the chances of an African-American backlash are greatly lessened.

I’m sure there are other advantages/disadvantages. Feel free to add them below. But bottom line, if Thurmond joins the U.S. Senate race, then — win or lose — should any Democrat win a statewide contest in November, he’ll deserve a spot on the stage.

* * *

Meanwhile, Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News had this over the weekend:

U.S. Rep. John Barrow’s campaign received $12,500 from health care interests on the day he said he’d vote against a major health care bill.

The March 19 donations were listed on the Savannah Democrat’s report to the Federal Election Commission for the first three months of the year.

Most of the money came from groups representing radiologists, gastroenterologists, pathologists and dentists, the report indicated.

Peterson included this observation from Charles Bullock, the University of Georgia political scientist:

“What a coincidence,” Bullock said, pausing for a few seconds. “I’m trying to find a way to say this delicately. … I suppose some people who had concerns about the bill may have wanted their concerns foremost in his mind.”

Democratic votes against Obama’s health care reform package have prompted a full-scale revolt in North Carolina, according to the Washington Post:

Now, some of Obama’s supporters are mounting a defiant strike against the president’s party. The nascent third party, North Carolina First, could endanger the Democratic congressional majority by siphoning votes from incumbent Democrats in November’s midterm election, potentially enabling Republican challengers to pick up the seats.

Organizers say they are so fed up with Democrats who did not support health-care reform that they simply do not care.

This morning, the Post also notes an Atlanta connection here:

Daniel Almond, a three-tour veteran of Iraq, is ready to “muster outside D.C.” on Monday with several dozen other self-proclaimed patriots, all of them armed. They intend to make history as the first people to take their guns to a demonstration in a national park, and the Virginia rally is deliberately being held just a few miles from the Capitol and the White House.

Almond plans to have his pistol loaded and openly carried, his rifle unloaded and slung to the rear, a bandoleer of magazines containing ammunition draped over his polo-shirted shoulder. The Atlanta area real estate agent organized the rally because he is upset about health-care reform, climate control, bank bailouts, drug laws and what he sees as President Obama’s insistence on and the Democratic Congress’s capitulation to a “totalitarian socialism” that tramples individual rights.

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78 comments Add your comment

keith

April 19th, 2010
11:18 am

One reason why he maybe running could be Isakson might retire. No one knows how good his health is. Heart conditions & blood clots are nothing to play around with, plus he’s 65, so who knows.

Virgilio Perez Pascoe

April 19th, 2010
11:20 am

Predicting Mike Thurmond’s mind set is risky business. I do not believe he would run as a sacrificial lamb, though, in the case that he looses, Jim Galloway’s considerations are valid. No, I think, he feels that he has a chance to win–Here is my rationale:

There are two key demographic voters that appears not to be very energized: a) the African American voter (29.6% of all registered voters) and the b) Democratic or independent centrist-lef voter who is tired of the cutbacks in State and Local budgets since FY 2009–conservatively, let us say, another 25-30% of all registered voters (out of 67% registered voters categorized as white or other).
Energizing these two segments and assuming they go to vote, would make for an upset.

The Budget effects of the FY 2011 going through the General Assembly right now requires some very drastic additional cuts to the State Budget. This is, at a time, when the stock market is looking quite healthy, and the national numbers seem to be improving. The state government seems to be zagging, while elsewhere there is some zigging.

Mike Thurmond is betting, I surmise,–that job improvement numbers will be significant by the time of the election in November.

A friendly face with the Obama administration which Mike Thurmond would provide, will be seen by Georgia’s influential leaders (those not stuck on ideology) as a considerable plus, since the State will need a lot of Federal monies to jump the chasm of the Budget ravine.

Thurmond, three- election- seasons- demonstrated capability in speech making, personality, and appeal in cross-ethnic, cross-racial circles , competes against a dour, unassuming leader who is ideologically proven to a specific constituency and who, has received high numbers when elected, I believe, because he has had no credible opponent. Poll numbers and attitudes are suspect in the State of Georgia, again, my belief.

As to Isaakson’s coffers–if Thurmond runs an intelligent campaign–and there is credible evidence that it begins to resonate with voters, the money will come in, from those center and center left contributors that have been sitting in the sidelines.

I just don’t see Mike Thurmond thinking he wants to pop a sacrifice fly. He is a team player, but mostly he is very, very ambitious. Yes, he is careful, but, I believe he sees an opening. But, again, predicting what is inside his mind is very risky. I could be all wrong.

Mike

April 19th, 2010
11:23 am

No question a lot of national money will be flowing into the race if Thurmond runs for Senate. Barnes, and the rest of the Dem ticket, will benefit from the GOTV efforts. I’m sure Franklin, Young and Lewis are already heading to V-103 to cut their standard radio ad – calling Johnny Isakson the reincarnation of Bull Connor and George Wallace.

The thing I still don’t understand is: what’s in it for Thurmond?

Mike

April 19th, 2010
11:26 am

Virgilio-

Good points, but I don’t see Thurmond’s path to victory. You had Obama do better than any Dem Presidential candidate in Georgia for at least three elections. The Democrat energy in GA was at an huge high, but Martin couldn’t beat a “weaker-than-Isakson” Saxby Chambliss.

Senile

April 19th, 2010
11:27 am

I remember THurmond ran for Congress once. Can anyone refresh us on the details?

Been Around-Done That

April 19th, 2010
11:28 am

Mr. Raines…most of the votes we cast in elections are for folks who turn out to be fools…regardless of party affiliation. Or maybe we voters are the fools for keeping these liars in office instead of kixcking them out and replacing them with men and women who are willing to put the interests of their country, states, counties, and cities before those of their special interest owners. But then I am probabl;y just dreaming when I hope for the kind of folks who founded our nation to rise from somewhere and get us out of the mess we are in. . The average politician…regardless of party…is like a skunk…they squirtb on you at every opportunity and it is hard to get rid of the smell.

Virgilio Perez Pascoe

April 19th, 2010
11:34 am

Mike–After being a Senator, he could build his career in the Senate, or he could decide to become Governor, or he could take a leadership position in the Obama administration. Winning a race that to many seems unwinable, would be a feather in his well appointed cap.

ac

April 19th, 2010
11:37 am

Obama not on the Ballot – less liberal and AA voters! True.

carpetbagger

April 19th, 2010
11:38 am

Virgilio’s right – he does have cross-ethnic appeal. The problem is that darned “D” that’s next to his name. He’s been Labor Commissioner for such a long time, he’s probably ready to move on to something else. Worst case, he loses and BHO offers him a job in DC.

Just Nasty & Mean

April 19th, 2010
11:38 am

We all know what Michael Thurmond is: He is a left wing, Nancy Pelosi,Harry Reid, Obama, Chicago-style leftist that will perpetuate this “the sky is falling and government has to fix it” regime.

If you want more of this Socialist/Marxist “Hope and Change” that is keeping this economy/employment in the pooper and expanding government exponentially —then Thurmond is your man.

RetiredSoldier

April 19th, 2010
11:39 am

I think everyone is missing the most obvious reason Thurmond would take what I think most observors would agree is a risky run for senate. That reason is Obama and the likelyhood of a federal appointment if Thurmond loses the senate race. It would be a win/win situation for Thurmond.

Bubba

April 19th, 2010
11:42 am

Thurmond will take one for the team, and then get a job from the Obama Administration.

clem

April 19th, 2010
11:49 am

Well, Just Nasty and Mean, your moniker says it all about Republicans. And by the way, Thurmond is a moderate.

keith

April 19th, 2010
11:49 am

Thurmond is a CENTRIST, not a this liberal that just nasty & mean is trying to paint Thurmond. He knows this state like the back of his hand & he would not enter this race if he didn’t think he could win. The man’s smart. Something’s up with this.

DirtyDawg

April 19th, 2010
12:03 pm

I don’t know just how much more delusional ‘white independents’ can possibly be if they can’t see the lies, the obstructions, the blind hate and the unbridled greed that permeates the Republican Party across the Nation and Georgia. This is our next best chance to bring some sanity to the process – namely a Democratic resurgence across the State and the South.

My bet is that the madness of the Teapartiers and the rest of the extreme right-wing of the Repub Party, will combine with domestic and diplomatic successes from the Obama Admin, to cause ‘thinking’, and truly ‘independent’ voters of all colors to recognize that the Republican way is a ‘death-spiral’ to the bottom.

please

April 19th, 2010
12:29 pm

thurmond is very smart and gifted. isakson is a nice man, but has accomplished next to nohing in the senate. here’s hoping thurmond can make it a competitive race and maybe even pull it off. as for daniel almond, i would hope his 6th grade education would make him think better of taking a bevy of loaded guns to a political rally that will undoubtedly be charged with emotion, but i doubt it will. neo-cons like him don’t think too often anyway

????

April 19th, 2010
12:30 pm

Let’s see which candidate voted to override President Bush’s VETO of the wastefilled Ag. bill? Who voted for TARP? Who wrote the no child left behind bill? Who wrote the $34 Billion taxpayer rip off housing bill?
Who refuses to sign the no earmark pledge? Hint it’s the Socialist candidate..

The Answere is Johnny Isakson (RINO, Ga)

Mel

April 19th, 2010
12:32 pm

And then there are, I believe, plenty of those around who are ready to vote for anybody who is vertical and breathing other than Isakson.

Jack in Sandy Springs

April 19th, 2010
12:43 pm

I am a Republican but have to admit I really like Michael Thurmond as a person so am intrigued by his candidacy. I got to know him personally when his wife was the executive assistant to former Fulton Chair Skandalakis (little bit of trivia for y’all) and they are a sensible, conservative, and charming couple. I will likely vote for Johnny but Thurmond is a good guy and a respectable candidate.

tom

April 19th, 2010
12:48 pm

I don’t care who is on the ballot regardless of party , I vote against all incumbents. Time to change the picture.

Thomas Stein

April 19th, 2010
12:48 pm

Keith: Isakson isn’t retiring. I saw him last week and he looked excellent: energized and rested. He’s definitely running for reelection, and that $6 million dollars and his common sense voting record for Georgia make him incredibly hard to beat.

Thomas Stein

April 19th, 2010
12:53 pm

On point I forgot to mention: for a candidate who is “fluent in the language of jobs and the economy” according to Jim Galloway, Thurmond as the Labor Commissioner is presiding over the highest all time unemployment rate in our state’s history (10.6%). He may be fluent, but it seems he’s more fluent in the language of losing jobs and weakening our economy.

Virgilio Perez Pascoe

April 19th, 2010
12:55 pm

True, Mike–Saxby is not as strong as Isakson. True, also, that the win now seems improbable.
All of this is speculation–but here is one path:

a)Concentrate on 14 counties where 52% of all Georgia registered voters reside (where 68% of the AA voters are and 43% of the White voters). Most of the counties are around the Atlanta Metropolitan area but there are 4 outliers in the SE, SW, and Center of the State. 5 of the counties would be difficult to gain plurality but where substantial votes could be garnered. These 5 counties are not where the largest population exists. In these 14 counties, budget problems have been very high, and voter discontent is also pretty high.

b)Mike Thurmond’s message will be jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs. These 14 counties have anecdotally been the most affected by the downturn (the common idea is that North Georgia has been less unfortunate in this recession, but this is not universally true). The subsidiary message will be that while Georgia needs to maintain its cultural identity, Federal government help is necessary in the areas of Education, Transportation, and in resolving the water problem. Thurmond has potential better credibility in this area than the senatorial incumbernts.

There are other specfics that can be brought to bear, but suffice it for the moment, to develop the idea that this is not pie-in-the sky thinking–it is grounded.

Again, whether this can be effectively executed depends on what is inside the mind-set of the potential candidate, Mr. Thurmond.

This is a convoluted way of saying that conditions have changed since Jim Martin forced the unsuspecting Chambliss to a run-off–and then lost. And while Democrats might have a hard time in other regions of the country. This time around egg is in the face of the Republican incumbents. Again, my belief and point of view.

Hector

April 19th, 2010
1:21 pm

All “Flagers” should be getting prepared for Roy Barnes!!!

TRUTH

April 19th, 2010
1:26 pm

If Johnny runs on his record he’ll lose.. He has a worse voting record than Saxby.

Vet

April 19th, 2010
1:40 pm

I’ve had it with Isakson, we basically have 2 Democrats running against each other. If this the best the Georgia Republican party can do I’ll be voting none of the above.

The General

April 19th, 2010
1:46 pm

So Thurmond decided to leave politics by running against Isakson. Sorta like ’suicide by cop’. Too chicken to do it himself, so getting beat by Isakson allows him to not only get out of politics, but save face at the same time.

The Sarg

April 19th, 2010
1:51 pm

The Republican party needs a Real Republican to run for the US Senate.

What's in the water up there?

April 19th, 2010
1:54 pm

When Johnny was in Georgia he worked for Georgia but he went to Washington and now works for the Real Estate Lobby.

Old Hippie

April 19th, 2010
1:54 pm

Michael Thurmond is a DLC-corporate Democrat in the Evan Bayh mode. Like Baker, he is more conservative than most of the other AA politicians in Georgia.

But, he’s better than Isakson.

History will teach us if we listen

April 19th, 2010
1:55 pm

Mike Thurmond is a student of history with an impeccable since of timing. He knows the incumbents on the left and right are at risk from the zealots from within their own parties. His strength is his ability to sit down with Tea Partiers,or the NAACP or the DAR and have a meaningful dialogue and come away with at the very least, respect and often votes. You can try to pigeon hole him if you want, but his record shows him to be fiscally conservative and socially moderate with a strong belief in personal responsibilty. His biggest obstacle to winning will be his reluctance to ask for money or sell himself to the highest bidder.
P.S. For a good read try his book “Freedom” that tells the story of black and white Georgians from the Colonial era through the Civil War escaping slavery and indentured servitude.

What's in the water up there?

April 19th, 2010
2:08 pm

What did Isakson’s $6 million war chest cost the Georgia taxpayer? Lobbyist don’t just give money, they buy votes.

Gerald

April 19th, 2010
2:10 pm

Just Nasty & Mean

April 19th, 2010
11:38 am
We all know what Michael Thurmond is: He is a left wing, Nancy Pelosi,Harry Reid, Obama, Chicago-style leftist that will perpetuate this “the sky is falling and government has to fix it” regime.

If you want more of this Socialist/Marxist “Hope and Change” that is keeping this economy/employment in the pooper and expanding government exponentially —then Thurmond is your man.

- – - – -

Could not be more incorrect here. This lends creedence to the point that there are many bloggers here who simply have no idea what they are talking about. Nothing personal JN&M, but you fit the bill.

Gerald

April 19th, 2010
2:12 pm

keith

April 19th, 2010
11:49 am
Thurmond is a CENTRIST, not a this liberal that just nasty & mean is trying to paint Thurmond. He knows this state like the back of his hand & he would not enter this race if he didn’t think he could win. The man’s smart. Something’s up with this.

- – - – -

Then there are those bloggers who are thoughtful and do bring keen insight to the table. I agree with you here Keith, something is indeed up here.

Thomas Payne

April 19th, 2010
2:17 pm

Thomas Stein

April 19th, 2010
12:53 pm
On point I forgot to mention: for a candidate who is “fluent in the language of jobs and the economy” according to Jim Galloway, Thurmond as the Labor Commissioner is presiding over the highest all time unemployment rate in our state’s history (10.6%). He may be fluent, but it seems he’s more fluent in the language of losing jobs and weakening our economy.

- – - – -

What? The collapse of the construction industry, the banking debacle, the worst recession since the Depression is the fault of the labor commissioner? Job losses come with any economic downturn –you can’t point the finger at the labor commissioner. Thurmond has done much to stimulate job creation through various programs that lean towards benefit to employers who hire UI drawing laid of jobless workers. You’re just plain wrong here.

Jim

April 19th, 2010
2:28 pm

First off let’s be honest. Jim Martin is milk toast. Saxby ran rings around him. Senator Isakson is a pleasant man who is reaching the age where his health can be used as an issue against (I don’t think Comm Thurmond would though). I happen to believe Comm Thurmond is lining up the ducks to take the presidency of the University of Georgia.

I believe the good folks of Georgia will be served better by getting rid of the state legislature. If you believe all politics is local then you should start there. Our transportation troubles and water woes are not being address by them. Don’t need a gov’ment hand out but can’t get either of those issues resolved without the gov’ment cooperation.

RetiredSoldier

April 19th, 2010
2:40 pm

It’s interesting to read that Thurmond is a moderate. Maybe yes, maybe no. I don’t think he has spoken on national issues enough for Dems or Reps to make the point he is liberal, moderate, or conservative.

One needs to be careful with a label. To a liberal democrat person x may be moderate. To a conservative republican he would be liberal. It’s all relative to ones own viewpoint.

??

April 19th, 2010
2:50 pm

RetiredSoldier 2:40 pm

Just changed the name, same same:

“It’s interesting to read that ISAKSON is a moderate. Maybe yes, maybe no. I don’t think he has spoken on national issues enough for Dems or Reps to make the point he is liberal, moderate, or conservative.

One needs to be careful with a label. To a liberal democrat person x may be moderate. To a conservative republican he would be liberal. It’s all relative to ones own viewpoint.”

td

April 19th, 2010
2:51 pm

I worked for Thurmond at DFCS and can tell you he is not a centrist or a moderate. He is a true believing liberal. He was a very nice man and a very charismatic speaker. I guess he might be able to fool the people because Obama did but I just can not see the state of Georgia electing a liberal.

??

April 19th, 2010
2:53 pm

Jim 2:28 pm

Martin was being honest, SAXBY was being SAXBY, selling out to the LOBBYIST.

Winfield J. Abbe

April 19th, 2010
2:54 pm

Mr. Thurmond has sold out numerous poor and blacks in Athens Clarke County on vital issues of fire protection, water and sewer service and public bus service. As many have gotten the shaft from the Five Points crowd, does Mr. Thurmond speak up? No he remains silent. Citizens in the Danielsville Rd. area could have easily and should have had a fire station first since they had none, but instead Five Points received a $ 6 million Taj Mahal in the worst corner in town and took that valuable real estate off the tax rolls forever. I submitted a proposal demonstrating how they could have saved millions of dollars by placing two stations on already public lands owned by UGa and the Navy School. Had this been done there would easily been enough money for the fire station out Danielsville Rd. at the first SPLOST. Did Mr. Thurmond speak up and support this? No he remained silent as he has done about the corrupt Jennifer Stone Murder Cover up , as he has done about numerous other instances of corruption and unfairness in the Athens Clarke County Cesspool of Georgia.
Mr. Thurmond is a nice guy but a cowardly good for nothing politician looking out for Mike Thurmond and nobody else. He has also demonstrated zero leadership in reducing the high unemployment rate in Georgia. Why would any company want to come to the Robin Hood Communist Capital of Athens anyway? Mr. Thurmond’s answer: Cowardly silence. He holds one of the softest jobs in Georgia.

RetiredSoldier

April 19th, 2010
3:01 pm

??-

Isakson has spoken enough for anyone to determine from their point of view where Isakson is on their “spectrum”. I like Isakson, disagree occasionally with a vote, but overall I think he has been an excellent senator. In addition, I have heard rave reviews of the staff work his people do.

candide

April 19th, 2010
3:11 pm

I can assure you that a black cannot be elected US Senator from Georgia. Why do they even bother?

Winfield J. Abbe

April 19th, 2010
3:18 pm

In Athens Clarke County, the public bus system operates buses which unsafely block traffic lanes, pollute the air with diesel exhaust and cost the property taxpayers about $ 4 million a year to subsidize as they run around with from zero to five passengers. But no service is provided out U.S. 441 N. or Commerce Rd. and other areas too, but those taxpayers are forced to pay for the service for the mostly empty buses to other areas. This is completely illegal and violates the Georgia Constitution. But is the corrupt Attorney General of Georgia Mr. Baker doing anything about this illegal conduct by the Unified Government of Athens Clarke County? Why no, he sits in his air conditioned office and corruptly does nothing. The U.S. Attorney should arrest him and jail him and sue Athens Clarke County and force them to either shut down this unsafe and wasteful system or provide service to everybody as demanded by their own Charter and the Georgia Constitution and simple fairness and conscience. Georgia is a corrupt cesspool and Mr. Baker is nothing but a good for nothing corrupt politician with an easy, soft job. While citizens are forced to comply with government edicts under threats of fines, jail time and confiscation of their property and intimidation, no such rules are available for compel corrupt politicians to do their jobs in the corrupt state of Georgia. This is partly why this state is so backward in so many ways. This is a Democratic and Republican problem. It is not restricted to one party.
He has also stood idly by while the government of Athens has been engaged in an illegal cover up of the murder and sexual assault of Jennifer Stone for 18 years this month since April 23, 1992. Lawyers, judicial officials and even the GBI are involved in this cover up. Georgia is a very corrupt state.

??

April 19th, 2010
3:18 pm

RetiredSoldier 3:01 pm

Do you agree with Johnny on TARP?

Dou agree with Johnny on the Housing Bill? I assume yes because you are in the real estate business.

Do you agree with Johnny on the override of W’s Veto of the farm bill?

If you agree with him you just as well vote Democratic and be done with it.

Shawn

April 19th, 2010
3:23 pm

Not one more Obamacrat. Not Barnes. Not Thurmond. Why would we vote for someone who would help the Reid/Pelosi/Obama drift toward socialism?

RetiredSoldier

April 19th, 2010
3:24 pm

1. no
2. no, though it does help me a wee bit
3. no

Johnny’s voting record while not perfect is better than any of the 61 dems in the senate. While if I was Ga’s junior senator, I would have a perfect voting record, others I have to be a bit tolerent.

Burntgrassroot

April 19th, 2010
3:30 pm

I’m so proud of us!!!!!! I actually got some information from reading the comments on this blog. It seems that we’re actually thinking about the political process and contributing factors specific to Georgia, instead of reacting emotionally or attacking those who have dissenting opinions.
RetiredSoldier makes the point that one needs to be careful with a label-I agree. We all can remember instances when the label had nothing to do with the quality of the content (e.g. Tylenol with cyanide, Skippy with salmonella, Toyota with dangerous mechanical problems). We also can remember instances when the label Democrat meant populist, moderate and, if not virtuous, worthy of the public trust. I believe Commissioner Thurmond representing Georgia in the US Senate would be one of the latter instances.
I will support Commissioner Thurmond in his senate run because he has faithfully executed the duties of the office of Georgia labor commissioner, and has been responsive and accountable to his constituents. Unlike other sitting (serving?) Georgia politicians, he actually deactivated his attorney’s license while maintaing his membership in the Georgia bar since he’s been in office (to say nothing of the fact that he actually has a license). With respect to his future political aspirations, I think it’s acceptable for him to keep his own counsel as long as he’s efficient and effective in the current office.

Jon Lester

April 19th, 2010
3:51 pm

@Gerald, that entire set of talking points you rattled off did not exist in such combination 2 years ago and have never been applicable to Thurmond or even to the centrist Georgia realpolitik of the last two decades. For all the Georgia Democrats running for office this year, precious few (if any) are truly “liberal” in essence.

??

April 19th, 2010
3:54 pm

RetiredSoldier 3:24 pm

I have known Johnny most of my life but he has not represented Georgia in the Senate. I will NOT vote for him.. Most likely I’ll vote for Chuck Donovan. He may not win but I can at least I’ll be voting for someone I respect, Johnny has totally lost my respect.