Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal points to Karen Handel’s lack of a college degree

For a fellow who last week decried the negative tone of the Republican runoff for governor, Nathan Deal is adapting quickly.

On Thursday, everyone saw the former congressman’s “last straw” TV ad that accused Handel of lying – about Deal’s record and her own.

dealonhandelflyerpic

Not so many people saw the direct mail piece that also hit Republican-voting households yesterday afternoon. Examine it here.

For the first time, Deal points to the former secretary of state’s lack of a college degree. In a side-by-side comparison of educational background, the former congressman says this about Handel:

“Frederick Douglass High School, Maryland, Class of 1980.”

And this about himself:

“Undergraduate degree, Mercer University. Law degree, Mercer University.”

The mail piece twice makes this point:

“Handel has never served a complete term in office. She’s jumped from one office to another. Handel has sought three different offices within the last six years. You can’t be a ‘reformer’ if you never finish the job.”

The statement above is technically true, but incomplete. Handel was elected chair of the Fulton County Commission in 2003, to finish out the unexpired term of Mike Kenn. That term expired in 2006, when she ran for secretary of state.

Of the two charges, the focus on Handel’s education could be the more volatile issue when it comes to voter reaction. Georgians without college degrees outnumber those with them.

Yet among our governors, two college degrees — the second usually in law — are more common than one. The last Georgia governor to go no further than high school was Atlanta native Lester Maddox in 1966.

But Handel’s biography, including that lack of education, is central to her candidacy. She left her Maryland home at 17. This from a weekend profile by Shannon McCaffrey of the Associated Press:

Handel said her mother drank, and one night she held a shotgun to her daughter’s head. Handel left, living with a family friend and scrambling to finish high school while holding down a part-time job.

Rumors arose last summer that Handel had not graduated from high school, and had instead earned a GED.

An official with the Prince George’s County public school district confirmed that Karen C. Walker, Handel’s maiden name, did graduate from Frederick Douglass High School in 1980.

Handel and her mother eventually reconciled years later when her mother became ill. Before she died in 2000, Handel was at her bedside.

Handel says she took several college courses, mostly in accounting, after graduating high school.

***

Campaign finance reports covering the July 1-Aug. 4 period will start hitting around midnight tonight. Look for Karen Handel, one of two candidates in the GOP runoff for governor, to report about $1 million raised.

***

Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) on Thursday posted a second, seven-minute installment of his interview with Beverly Hall, superintendent of the Atlanta public school system.

The superintendent promised an independent probe of the 12 schools where cheating on state tests is suspected. Said Hall, in the first few seconds:

“We have now actually contracted with nine law firms, and we are going to turn over whatever KPMG has given us to them. They’re going to have carte blanche to go in and do another investigation.,,,And we’re going to go in to see exactly what happened.”

The interview was recorded Wednesday. O’Hayer adds this odd note:

The next day, Atlanta Public Schools spokesman Keith Bromery said no firm commitments or contracts have yet been completed with any law firms. But he said Dr. Hall is weighing that as one option, along with possibly having the Georgia Professional Standards Commission handle the investigation; or a combination of the two.

***

In the GOP runoff contest to replace state Sen. Dan Moody of North Fulton, Brandon Beach of Alpharetta is accusing his rival, John Albers of Roswell, of dirty tricks.

In an e-mail to supporters, Beach accused Albers of having someone “impersonate” Betty Price, the Roswell City Council member, on a robo-call made to voters – indicating her support for Albers.

Betty Price is actually supporting Beach. More important, she’s the wife of U.S. Rep. Tom Price.

It is a general truth that, as a political tactic, making a sworn, lifelong enemy of a member of Congress – capable of chasing you into the hereafter and beyond — rarely succeeds.

***

The Atlantic has picked up on the one indisputable accomplishment of the only Georgian to become president:

Former President Jimmy Carter may have a somewhat mixed record, with a Nobel Peace Prize on the one hand and a lost 1980 reelection bid on the other, but blogger E.D. Kain wants to add one very significant accomplishment to the Carter legacy: The booming U.S. craft beer industry. In 1979, Carter de-regulated the beer market, which had been tightly controlled since the end of prohibition.

We’ll drink to that.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

125 comments Add your comment

Just Peachy

August 6th, 2010
9:46 am

Deal is getting desperate. It’s OLD news that Karen doesn’t have a college degree… move on Deal. shall we focus again on your lack of ethics and the Grand Jury investigation?

kjk28

August 6th, 2010
9:55 am

Perhaps Deal’s law degree will come in handy when he reads his indictment.

Ben

August 6th, 2010
9:57 am

Are these actions reminiscent of the Oxendine campaign from July 13-20?

Aquagirl

August 6th, 2010
10:00 am

Like I said before—a college diploma can really brighten up a drab jail cell.

No diploma on her wall

August 6th, 2010
10:03 am

But we haven’t actually seen any high school diploma. Handel must publish it before we can believe it.

Fred

August 6th, 2010
10:05 am

Spoke with four actual voters at the gym this morning, who, like me, are not paid bloggers. The runoff was quite the topic of conversation. They, like me are supporting Nathan, and a large part of the reason is the manner is which Karen has run her campaign. They basically said that they had respect for her, but have lost it through this process. One lady said she simply couldn’t vote for someone who was this outwardly “vicious”. They also indicated they would vote for Roy in the general because they just don’t think they can vote for her after this display. Each of these people supported Perdue in 2002 and 2006. They indicated that they thought Roy is the lesser of the two evils if Karen is the R candidate in November. I haven’t reached that point yet, but a lot of people have and I don’t think Karen is going to be able to pull them back over. I was also surprised that they said that given where the state is now, Roy is looking better and better and that his administration was frankly not unsuccessful, he just tried to do too much to fast and that with a republican legislature, you’ll probably get pretty good government out of divided government. That scares me for the party’s chances in November.

Aquagirl

August 6th, 2010
10:07 am

People who gripe about paid bloggers here = paid bloggers.

Mark

August 6th, 2010
10:11 am

“Job Hopping”? Count me in for a job hopper that rises up the ladder as she has done. Job hopping is staying at the same level with different companies. I see it as Karen aspiring to bigger and better things. I know that isn’t what most politicians do, but Karen is no politician!

AH

August 6th, 2010
10:16 am

WTF – we use to look up to people in this country who could go out on their own in tough situations and pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make something of themselves. If her lack of formal education is/was a serious problem it would have been a glaring problem in the last two political offices.

CrazyInGA

August 6th, 2010
10:18 am

I’m no fan of Deal or Handel, but I do prefer a governor with a college education and ethics. These two losers lack one or the other.

In Roswell with college education

August 6th, 2010
10:18 am

The question not, “Do you have a college education?” The question is, “Will you do a competent, honest job serving the citizens of Georgia?”
In my opinion, both Karen Handel and Nathan Deal will a competent, honest job serving the citizens of Georgia better than Roy Barnes. However, Karen Handel will do a better job than Nathan Deal.
A college education is overrated, especially when too many of the college professors lean to the social democrat, elitist side of the spectrum and those of us who lean in a different direction have to pay outrageously high college costs for our children who are in college.

about time

August 6th, 2010
10:19 am

why would anyone vote for Larry Craig-I mean Nathan Deal. He seem to be obsessed with Gay people. tap tap tap

bait

August 6th, 2010
10:19 am

@Fred

I have to say, yours is the most honest. I have talked with friends and co-workers and they say the exact same things.

Handel is nothing more than a carpet bagger, I can out trash the dumb white trash. She’s a Palin wannabe, photo-op holding guns at the H&K factory, etc…

Deal…. where to begin; didnt he quit congress? thats calling the kettle black, lol.

I’m a republican that will be voting Deal, then go for King Roy over “Lets make a Deal”.

CrazyInGA

August 6th, 2010
10:20 am

AH

August 6th, 2010
10:16 am

Many college educated people have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and made something of their lives. I can speak for myself and my personal friends and family.

Fred

August 6th, 2010
10:20 am

I am not a paid blogger. And the tone of the Handel paid bloggers is representative of the nature of the Handel campaign in my humble opinion. If Karen wins, it may be possible for Karen to heal the wounds between now and November, but it is getting tougher by the day. A lot of people are getting to know her for the first time around the state through this race and they are really not very impressed with the way her campaign has been run. At some point voters draw conclusions about the nature of a person by the way they campaign and I think those conclusions are being drawn across the state. If she wins, her calculus is obviously that Roy is so odious even though many people are turned off by her, they are more turned off by him. I think she may be making a poor bargain from the anecdotal information I am getting from the folks I speak to. A lot of people who voted in the R primary will defect to Roy and a lot of others will simply skip this race entirely and not cast a vote for either, which means Roy effectively picks up a vote.

becky

August 6th, 2010
10:20 am

Maybe her lack of education is why she can’t complete a job. When it gets tough she just quits, i.e college. If she runs against Barnes then he will win and Ga can’t stand another Barnes term. Look to the Nov election and do you really want Barnes back in office.

Casual observer

August 6th, 2010
10:21 am

Of more concern than a college degree, or lack of, should be the close relationship of Handel and the firm providing the voting machines for Georgia. Not only do the machines fail to provide a written record of votes, leaving the opportunity for fraud, but Handel then hired one of the firm’s lobbyists.

Handel appears to be running from her early support for Planned Parenthood and abortion, raising the question of “liberal or conservative”?

As seems to be the case so often now in politics, we have a choice between two losers on the Republican side and an even bigger loser in the Democrat.

about time

August 6th, 2010
10:23 am

yes Becky. I really do want Barnes to be our next gov. Things were much better in this state before it was ruined by the embarassment that is in the governors office now.

WTF

August 6th, 2010
10:23 am

However, we don’t have enough decency to respect a man who is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the president of the Harvard Law Review. A community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. Who worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.

WOW…America the Beautiful!

John K

August 6th, 2010
10:29 am

Touting one’s education?! That’s so elitest!

In Roswell with college education

August 6th, 2010
10:30 am

This is a repost of prior comments to correct my grammatical/ typing errors in that post. I would not want you to think I learned nothing in college. But come to think of it, I learned enough grammar, how to type, honesty, etc. in high school or earlier.
The question is not, “Do you have a college education?” The question is, “Will you do a competent, honest job serving the citizens of Georgia?”
In my opinion, both Karen Handel and Nathan Deal will do a competent, honest job serving the citizens of Georgia better than Roy Barnes. However, Karen Handel will do a better job than Nathan Deal.
A college education is overrated, especially when too many of the college professors lean to the social democrat, elitist side of the spectrum and those of us who lean in a different direction have to pay outrageously high college costs for our children who are in college.

Chan

August 6th, 2010
10:30 am

Deal does seemed to be obsessed with gays. Gulity dog darks the loudest?????

Let's Be Real

August 6th, 2010
10:31 am

Handel may lack a college degree, but Nathan Deal is nothing more than educated white trash.

Fred's Imaginary Friends

August 6th, 2010
10:32 am

Leave us out of this, Fred, or we’ll go back to discussing the cameras the CIA placed in your walls.

pignapoke

August 6th, 2010
10:33 am

Karen is essentially saying she should be excused for not having a college degree because she had a difficult childhood. That’s bs. Tons of college students in this great state rise above their difficult circumstances and graduate college. No way can this state have a hs graduate in the gov’s and the lt gov’s chair and be 49th in SAT scores. No way.

ladyliberty

August 6th, 2010
10:34 am

Karen Handel’s lack of schooling shows more and more. What concerns me more is why she didn’t bother to pursue or complete any degree – even an associates. Most of my college students were adults on their own, working full time, with families yet they thought an education was important in their business. And what exactly were these “executive” positions at Ciba, Hallmark, and Deloitte? It’s very easy to inflate resumes and positions – just recall the former FL Secretary of State Kathryn Harris who went on to Congress and then down to flames when she ran for US Senate. She played a part well until she got to the real big stage.

Pdawg

August 6th, 2010
10:37 am

Don’t care if she has a PHD. I don’t like her style!

bait

August 6th, 2010
10:37 am

too late Freds friends the repulican legis. already covered that and the chips they implant in different parts of the body

Kevin

August 6th, 2010
10:38 am

Deal and Handel are doing everything they can to help Barnes win the election. I can’t beleive a GOP state like Georgia can’t find better candidates than these to losers.

Kevin

August 6th, 2010
10:38 am

two losers (not to).

Casual Observer

August 6th, 2010
10:39 am

Democrats are pushing Handel because their polling indicates Deal will defeat Barnes and Handel will not. That is the best reason to vote for Deal even if he is a crook. Three crooks and you only have one vote, unless you are affilliated with ACORN, so pick the lesser crook.

By the way, since when were qualifications for office an issue? The electorate is now almost 50% non-working, uneducated, sponges as evidenced by the last Presidential election and a large enough number of the “independents” can be fooled by catch phrases and blaming the other guy.

The problem is not that an unqualified baffoon was elected President. The problem is the people who voted for the unqualified baffoon.

I am thankful Obama was elected because he has taken the thievery, fraud, vote-buying, anti-American sentiment, and socialism (as practiced by Democrats and Republicans) to a level even the idiots in the electorate can plainly see. If McCain were elected then most of this tyranny would still be in the smoke-filled rooms and back hallways of Washington.

Perhaps electing Barnes or one of the Republican losers will finally awaken voters in Georgia.

Fred

August 6th, 2010
10:45 am

I think Nathan can win in November, but the odds for Karen are much longer. Rasmussen has said as much in four separate polls. I also think the Handel team takes comfort from the fact that the delta between Republican and Dem. primary numbers was so large. That is false comfort. Roy will turn out a large vote in November that didn’t turn out in July beacuse the race had such an obvious winner – everyone knew Roy would win without a run-off, so why worry about voting until November? Roy will also run very strong in Cobb County and Gwinnett and will pull away a significant part of the ATL business community that is very down on Perdue and views Karen as Sonny’s third term. A lot of these people think critical time has been lost under Sonny’s watch, rightly or wrongly. They also were not as down on Roy in 2002 as people might think, because he tackled the flag issue and other issues that needed addressing but got him beat (and the business community remembers Roy well for having the courage to take that on). So, I think that Roy neutralizes a lot of Karen’s natural base of support in and around ATL. That leaves the rest of the state, where I think everyone knows Roy and he will run very strongly. The critical area may be Nathan’s former congressional districts – these folks aren’t going to be too ready to jump on Karen’s boat after the way she has tried to destroy Nathan – I think she loses ground in a critical R area if she wins the runoff. Roy knows the game will be won or lost outside of the metro area beacuse he can effectively carry off a draw in Karen’s natural area of support. He can beat her out in the rest of the state, but he can’t beat Nathan there. It will be very easy for Roy to play the two Georgia’s card against Karen with, I fear, a great deal of success. That is just one of many reasons I support Nathan, but perhaps the most important one. .

David

August 6th, 2010
10:48 am

LOOK WHERE THE EDUCATED HAS GOTTEN US! ! ! Lets try something different!

Fred's gym buddy

August 6th, 2010
10:52 am

I sure wish that guy on the Stairmaster next to me would shut up. He takes my occasional polite “uh-huh” as agreement with his lengthy senseless diatribes.

He even approached me several times in the locker room, but that’s another story. The gay-bashers are always the ones asking for a little help with their jock strap. Never fails.

about time

August 6th, 2010
10:53 am

real smart david. keep them dumb. they’ll vote republican every time.

Fred

August 6th, 2010
10:56 am

You Handel bloggers are pretty funny. I would imagine that you have more formal education than your candidate because the nature of your posts makes me think you are a twenty something college kid hooked on with the campaign. Not a lot of thoughtfulness, just a lot of cute vitriol. Address my earlier post in a sensible fashion, if you can, because I think the tea leaves I laid out are very relevant and I think that it fairly represents how Roy wins in November.

Bobby

August 6th, 2010
11:03 am

Handel for GOV!!!!!!!

I’m a Dem and that’s how I’ll be voting Tuesday!!!!!!!!!

Rock on Karen! Keep Sarah around for the general please.

Fred

August 6th, 2010
11:03 am

No takers, just as I thought. Run from your computer to the guy in the campaign office and ask what the right response is and get back to me when someone who actually knows something about politics tells you what to post. Thanks.

GaConservative23

August 6th, 2010
11:06 am

Deal didn’t lie about anything in the mail piece. He didn’t even make a big deal about her lack of education. He just put their respective records side-by-side. Nothing wrong with that.

about time

August 6th, 2010
11:07 am

hey Fred. I agree with you 100% but I’m voting for Roy. I think Nathan Deal is about as corrupt as they come.

This is your Georgia GOP!

August 6th, 2010
11:08 am

Karen Handel would have completed college if not for the gays. Hell, Nathan Deal pulled that corrupt backroom deal with Casey Cagle because the Mexicans made him do it.

Capitol Hack

August 6th, 2010
11:10 am

OK, David, I’ve heard that argument before. “The educated people screwed it all up, so let’s get somebody uneducated to fix it.” But you could also make the argument that, if an educated person has such a hard time fixing these difficult problems, an uneducated person will assuredly make things even worse.

Personally, I think the office of governor is a responsible enough position that a minimal level of education should be required. A big part of the problem with our government is that we elect people who know nothing about the job, nothing about governing, nothing about public service. In what other profession would we say, “Hey – a lack of experience is a good thing!”? “Never run a business before? That’s OK! You’d be a great CEO for our company!”

Dumb gets what dumb asks for.

Billy Joe Poteet

August 6th, 2010
11:11 am

If Roy wins, Georgia loses. Seems that I remember comments about Georgia being the “laughingstock of the nation” if Handel won the nomination. I wonder what Georgia will be if Deal gets the nomination, wins the general election and then is conviected?

I think some of you with your college degrees have been flipping too many burgers. Take a break . . .

clear choice

August 6th, 2010
11:15 am

Voting for Karen Handel will signify in no uncertain terms that Georgia places little value on education.

I cannot, will not, vote for a woman who does not have the endurance to suck it up and finish her college education. I don’t care what difficulties she faced at home when she was 17. She has had ample time and opportunity to finish her degree — correspondence courses, online courses, full-time, part-time…

But no, she’d just rather hop/skip/jump her way up the political ladder without even trying to prove to the voting public that she’s got the gumption to finish anything she’s ever started.

It’s never too late to finish your degree, Ms. Handel. Even now, it’s not too late.

Athens Voter

August 6th, 2010
11:15 am

Handel + Palin = Quitters

Fred

August 6th, 2010
11:21 am

About time, I think you are wrong about the ethics issues, and that will ultimately be proven to be the case – this was a classic political hit job – if you read the AJC article, it says that the US Attorney has said that Nathan is not the subject of any investigation. However, like was done to Sarah Palin with great effect, to Tom Price currently, and to Sonny Perdue in 2006 (largely by the same group that lodged the complaint against Nathan) – it is very easy to file an ethics complaint – whether there is anything to it or not – to do political damage – that is being done here in spades – it is unfortunate to say the least and does not serve our state well. Unfotunately for my side of the aisle, I think you are not alone in your support of Roy – I think you are wrong, however, in your characterization of Nathan..

Smyrna Sheila

August 6th, 2010
11:23 am

Could someone anyone please tell us how long Karen Handel has even been in GA. She was born in DC I think and only came to GA in the 90s.

Fred

August 6th, 2010
11:26 am

Still waiting on a reasoned response from the Handel posters about my earlier post on how Roy wins in November if Karen wins the runoff.

Bobby

August 6th, 2010
11:28 am

Yeah, Smyna Sheila!!!

SHOW US YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE NATHAN AND KAREN!!!!!!!!

Prove you are a REAL Georgian.

pete

August 6th, 2010
11:28 am

like Barnes and he is not a crook.