Your morning jolt: Barack Obama’s campaign manager says Georgia’s in play

At 6:52 a.m. today, President Barack Obama sent an e-mail to supporters announcing that he would run for re-election in 2012. Call it a soft roll-out.

A New York Times profile of Jim Messina, his former deputy chief of staff and now his Chicago-based campaign manager, included these paragraphs:

The headquarters space is bare. For now, there are no Obama signs or posters, only a paper bag filled with office supplies and a stack of maps from the American Automobile Association, which provide an early clue to the state-by-state battlegrounds.

“It’s too early to look at that stuff,” Mr. Messina said, taking a seat in an empty cubicle. “If you look at the new census numbers, you would think that Georgia would be in play. You would definitely think that Arizona would be in play — as I think it is. Those are states where we didn’t play in last time.”

***
We speak of former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich’s efforts in Georgia to become the state’s favorite-son candidate.

But Gingrich may have to get past Herman Cain, the former U.S. Senate candidate, who’s expected to announce his formal candidacy this month. Gallup has begun including Cain in its weekly polling.

Says Frank Newport, Gallup editor-in-chief:

”Many people have never heard of Cain. His name recognition among Republicans nationwide is only 21 percent. But Cain creates enthusiasm among those who do know him, with a pretty solid Gallup positive intensity score of 19, which ties him with the much better-known Newt Gingrich.

“There’s also Congresswoman Michele Bachman. She, too, is less well known, but like Cain, she generates a lot of intensity among those who know her. It’s not clear that either Bachman or Cain has a real chance of winning the GOP nomination, but we learned in 2010 that fervor and enthusiastic supporters can make a real difference in low turnout races….”

***
From a conference in suburban Atlanta, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke this evening will issue a progress report on how Wall Street is recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, according to the Associated Press.

***
U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, was the star of a Maureen Dowd column in Sunday’s NYT. The topic was the U.S. military’s effort to educate troops on the end of the “don’t ask, don’t tell,” policy:

Two top Pentagon officials testified that the transition was going swimmingly, yet Republicans scoffed. Representative Austin Scott of Georgia demanded the price tag. Clifford Stanley, an under secretary of defense, replied that the training materials cost only $10,000.

Scott harrumphed, “If something was done at D.O.D. for $10,000, I would like to know what it was.” He said that hundreds of thousands had been spent training a soldier in his district to disarm I.E.D.’s, but the soldier wouldn’t re-enlist because of the “social policy.”

The Democrat Chellie Pingree of Maine jumped in to note that the cost of purging gays between 2004 and 2009 was $193.3 million: “It’s not only unconscionable … but the costs are horrendous.”

Scott persisted in looking for trouble, even after Vice Adm. William Gortney, director of the joint staff, said the Pentagon had seen no problems so far.

The congressman asked the admiral if he had ever dismissed anyone. Gortney said he had dismissed a young sailor who acknowledged being gay after “don’t ask, don’t tell” first passed.

“Did you discharge him from the service because he was gay?” Scott asked. “Or because he violated the standard of conduct?”
“Because he was gay,” Gortney said.

“He did not violate the standard of conduct before he was dismissed?” Scott pressed.

“He did not,” Gortney said.

“Well,” Scott said, once more at a loss, “that’s not the answer I thought you would give, to be honest with you.”

Gortney assured him there were “very few cases” of gays’ being dismissed for violating the standard of conduct.

***
As the weekend broke, Blake Aued of Athens Banner-Herald put up a post on state Senate feud and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s bid to regain authority over the chamber. It included these paragraphs:

Apparently Cagle had cut a deal with Democrats to help him restore his power. In exchange for their votes, he would put Democrats in charge of three committees and ensure that four Republican-leaning districts are redrawn to favor Democrats. Those districts are represented by Cowsert and Sens. Johnny Grant of Milledgeville, John Bulloch of Ochlocknee in southwest Georgia and Fran Millar of Atlanta.

Cagle spokesman Ben Fry denies any such deal exists, as do Senate Democrats. It should be noted that Democrats already serve as chair of four Senate committees. Which makes the above information a bit puzzling.

Nonetheless, state Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, on Friday pumped out this response:

“I cannot speak to the veracity of the story, but as long as I am the Chairman of the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee, the redistricting process will be conducted in accordance with the law and with the utmost integrity and fairness. As Chairman, I will not accept anything less.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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80 comments Add your comment

Coastal Cavalier

April 4th, 2011
9:47 am

Senator Seabaugh..really…reapportionment with “integrity and fairness”…Gee that will be a first.

Centrist

April 4th, 2011
10:10 am

What a bunch of hogwash pretending Georgia is in play for Obama’s re-election attempt. NOBODY believes it – so why drive down credibility?

Sorry – most readers STILL don’t care about the insider Republican leadership gossip no matter how juicy you make it.

findog

April 4th, 2011
10:14 am

Well duh
Until the GOP has any real candidates Georgia is in play
If Trump becomes the GOP Candidate even Idaho will be in play

OPP

April 4th, 2011
10:27 am

Jim, why is it strange that Cagle offers one less committee chair to the Democrats? he obviously is just trying to bribe other Republicans with Chairmanships and needs one back. Besides, if i’m a Democrat, i would rather have four more seats in the Senate than a chairmanship that does nothing.

this is remarkably brazen and crass by cagle. i think a lot of Republicans, myself included, are going to start referring to him as Lt. Governor Benedict Arnold.

DannyX

April 4th, 2011
10:29 am

Jim frames things nicely today,

On one side you have Obama’s re-election.

On the other side you have the Tea Party crazies that are going to help Obama get re-elected.

Scott did not make a great entrance on the national stage. He had his talking points all lined up, then one by one they stole all his candy, this poor baby had no chance.

The Tea Party is becoming the “Committee to Re-Elect the President”

jd

April 4th, 2011
10:30 am

All disputes with new maps will be settled within the code of honor, a dual at 10 paces via whatever weapon you are packing!

td

April 4th, 2011
10:38 am

Centrist

April 4th, 2011
10:10 am
What a bunch of hogwash pretending Georgia is in play for Obama’s re-election attempt. NOBODY believes it – so why drive down credibility?

They are just trying to get some money from the Georgia “true believers” before they come to their senses.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
10:41 am

Well this is one former Obama voter who has no use for Obama.

Manning = Valerie Plame. You do not torture a United States soldier, especially before he has been found guilty of doing anything in a court of law, even a military tribunal.

This may be the first election of my entire life I’m staying home. I can’t vote for a Republican. I’m not voting for a selfish libertarian and the Greens thought Ralph Nader was a viable candidate.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
10:43 am

You know what you have a good point….

If the GOP insults me by making Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich or GOD HELP US Donald Trump (?!!?!?!) as their candidate I will *HAVE* to vote for Obama.

Lum

April 4th, 2011
10:44 am

Politicians will be politicians. No sense in asking a dog to change his fur.

td

April 4th, 2011
10:46 am

DannyX

April 4th, 2011
10:29 am

“The Tea Party is becoming the “Committee to Re-Elect the President”

You have the Democratic plan correct. They plan on making the whole election about the “extremist” tea party vs the “centrist” Obama. Just like they did in 94 running Clinton against the “extremist” congress that only cares about sex. The problem with the argument this time around is that Obama is the far left extremist where Clinton was not.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
10:57 am

TD,

You favored Sunday alcohol sales. I don’t think you’re in a position to judge whether someone is left or right of anything. You’re so far to the right that Sarah Palin looks like a commie.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
10:58 am

Sorry…that was “Favored banning Sunday Alcohol sales.”

Southside Republican

April 4th, 2011
11:00 am

If our “Republican” leaders implement this tax reform plan, i.e. raise taxes on the middle class in order to reduce corporate taxes, Obama will win on the coattails of the Ga. Democrats.

Speaker Ralston and Sen. Tommie Williams: the middle class elected your majority, not the Ga. Chamber of Commerce. Watch out!

findog

April 4th, 2011
11:02 am

Having known several EOD specialists, while proudly serving beside secret gay soldiers in the 1980’s, I do not know of one that would even let the notion of gaydar enter the gray matter that kept them alive.
If there is one in Rep Scott’s district that will not reenlist because of “social policy” I’d be willing to openly speculate his fear was not of becoming gay; rather keeping his limbs attached, and using gay’s as an excuse is cowardly.

Jon

April 4th, 2011
11:03 am

I like Austin, but it reads like he embarrassed himself a bit in the above exchange.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
11:08 am

Southside Republican…I’ll take that bet. I for one would happily lay money down on Intrade that Republicans could make the Middle Class taxes double and cut corporate taxes and they’ll still win in this state because the Democratic Party is the Black party.

Its theoretically possible the Libertarians could win if the Republicans screwed up enough, but I can conceive of no action the legislature is likely to take that would make that happen.

GaBlue

April 4th, 2011
11:11 am

td,

The mantra that “Obama is a far left extremist” is as old and tired as the Matlock reruns you miss. I can see how you might have thought that when he was first elected, full of enthusiasm for real change, but the last two years have proven that he’s anything BUT a “far left extremist.” Clearly, he’s owned and controlled by the same people who own ALL our Presidents behind the scenes. Hence Gitmo hasn’t been closed, our wars are still going on, the HC reform that was “rammed” (you wish) was a mere shadow of its promise, and the tax cuts for the wealthy were extended (instead of expiring as planned) in a time of extreme debt and deficit, all while Obama continues to “reach across the aisle.” I know the truth bursts your little fantasy bubble, so ignore it if you will, but Obama is a “far left extremist” like YOU are Mick Friggin Jagger.

Last Man Standing

April 4th, 2011
11:14 am

If, after Obama’s first term, you still feel that you will vote for him, I strongly recommend that you see a proctologist. Maybe the proctologist can remove your head from that portion of your anatomy.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
11:25 am

Funny I felt exactly the same way about reelecting Republicans two years after George W. Bush….

td

April 4th, 2011
11:26 am

GaBlue

April 4th, 2011
11:11 am

Yes, Obama sat in those top secret intelligence briefings and learned a great deal about what the Muslim extremist are really trying to do and how close they have been, since 911, to inflict more harm on us. He knew that Bush developed the only policy that could be done to protect us from these Jihadist and he had no choice but to continue the policy. This should wake the rest of you libs up to the facts that Muslim Jihadist are a real problem and will try to destroy this country at all cost but you all just can not come to this realization.

redneckbluedog

April 4th, 2011
11:27 am

The President and Commander-in-Chief has done a great job the last 3 years…growing jobs, cutting spending, lowering taxes, setting high moral standards at home and abroad…that’s after conservatives ruined the economy in 2008 with criminals like Tom DeLay and John Ensign. He won’t win Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina due to all the crackers and inbreds, but he’ll win Ohio and probably Florida….

Randolph Philips

April 4th, 2011
11:32 am

As I recall, The Obama campaign threatened to pour money into Georgia in 2008, and claimed Obama had a real chance here. In fact, they had second thoughts and spent their money elsewhere. We do have a lot of illegals in the state and the Obama campaign has a lot of money for the ground game of manufacturing a new electorate. But I don’t think there are enough illegal aliens who can get registered, nor can enough other fraudulent voters be nominated to take this state for Obama.

However, there is one caveat to predicting Obama won’t carry Georgia in 2012. In 1908, Democrat Jim Martin almost beat Saxbe Chambliss’s bid for re-election. But then, Jim Martin is a friend of mine, and no Barack Obama.

Also, like a lot of other Republican states, The Governor and legislature made a huge mistake this year. They should have enacted a law this session which would require all Pesidential and Vice Presidential candidates to present their birth certificate before appearing on the ballot in Georgia in 2012. The constitution requires that only “natural born” US citizens, can serve as Pesident (and by extension includes the VP), and Obama refuses to provide this proof. There is something gravely wrong with his qualifications, which might well prevent him from seeking re-election if Republicans weren’t so afraid of being called “birthrs” and “racists”.

Obama won’t carry Georgia, but he may well be elected–if his name is on the ballot everywhre.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
11:32 am

Nice way to ignore GB’s comments about the Tax Cut or Health Care there TD….

And GITMO is still open because first they cut the funds and then Obama became too lazy to move it not because of any hidden desire for our safety.

Common Cause Georgia

April 4th, 2011
11:33 am

Always interesting stories about redistricting at http://www.CommonCauseGA.org

GaBlue

April 4th, 2011
11:46 am

Mr. Philips,

Actually, I kinda wish the Georgia GOP brigade, imagining themselves superheros minus the capes (in public anyway) would have passed their stupid little “Birf’er bill” and successfully kept Pres. Obama off our ballot in 2012. Close your eyes for a minute. C’mon, close ‘em! Now imagine it’s 2012, early voting starts tomorrow, and millions of Georgians have just found out they will NOT be allowed to poke their touch screens for the first African American and current sitting President. Heh…. Think anybody’s going to be angry? Heh.. heh… How safe do YOU feel? It’s pretty much going to take that kind of overreach to wake up and mobilize the sane people in this state. This ultra rightie cr@pola is BORRRRRRING. Let’s have some civil unrest, shall we? WOOOOOOOOOOO! Let the riots begin!

td

April 4th, 2011
11:47 am

GaBlue

April 4th, 2011
11:11 am

Obama signed the tax cuts because he knew the last election was all about sending him a message about his policies and how upset the vast majority of the American people were with them. You libs just can not face the facts that this is a center right nation and these center left and far left policies are not going to be approved by the vast majority of the citizens.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights.....

April 4th, 2011
11:47 am

“Your morning jolt: Barack Obama’s campaign manager says Georgia’s in play”

Jim, I think that you misinterpreted Obama’s campaign manager’s comments. Jim Messina clearly was NOT talking about the state of Georgia being in play in a national election for Democrats…he was talking about HIS DAUGHTER named GEORGIA appearing in a STAGEPLAY about the census, you know, a public service announcement to motivate the kids to bug their parents to fill out the census, because anyone who thinks that the STATE of Georgia is in play in a presidential election has to have been smoking some really, really. really, REALLY good stuff seeing as though Democrats can hardly even be found hiding under rocks these days, much less out in the light of day.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

April 4th, 2011
11:47 am

Wow the libs get more delusional every day..but then again, a campaign manager is not likely to say “aww hell, were just f’ed from the get go!”

TrishaDishaWarEagle

April 4th, 2011
11:50 am

GaBlue, both democrats and blacks(one and the same now in this state, to a large degree) are severely outnumbered..bring on the fight:)

opp

April 4th, 2011
11:51 am

The truth comes out – shafer leaked the story on cagle selling out on redistricting. Leave it to a guy like shafer to act like he’s with cagle only to cut his throat and try to get him kicked out. Leaves the seat open for shafer to run. Nice!!!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

April 4th, 2011
11:53 am

GaBlue makes one relevant point , though. Blacks do tend to riot. Haiti, New orleans, Watts, LA. Rioting and looting. Japan..no blacks..no rioting.

The thing about haiti though, is that while It still sucks..I mean it IS haiti.. it’s a LOT less crowded now.

td

April 4th, 2011
11:58 am

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
11:32 am
Nice way to ignore GB’s comments about the Tax Cut or Health Care there TD

I did address the tax cuts further down. The health care legislation are going to have you libs screaming in the next couple of years because it is going to raise the Medicaid cost to the state between $3 and $4 billion. I am really going to enjoy coming on hear and being able to blame Obama when the classroom size in our schools are above 50.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights.....

April 4th, 2011
12:01 pm

GaBlue

April 4th, 2011
11:11 am
“td,”

“The mantra that “Obama is a far left extremist” is as old and tired as the Matlock reruns you miss.”

That mantra may be tired and old…amongst dyed-in-the-wool Democrats and far-left extremists, but amongst the mainstream thoughout the South and most Georgia voters, circa 2011, the mantra that Obama is a far-left extremist is pretty much a perception that is a reality that has resulted to Democrats not even being able to be elected Dog Catcher almost anywhere in the state except maybe DeKalb, Clayton and Fulton counties. Unless you were hiding in a cave, there’s no way you couldn’t have witnessed the last few election cycles where Democrats have all but become extinct at the state and national level in Georgia, which is why the name “Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn the lights off…” seems to be more than appropriate these days.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
12:01 pm

Actually Obama may be a terrible president…well…ok to be fair ADEQUATE president but he’s a kickass campaigner and will, in fact do some things to make national Republicans spend money here…so in THAT capacity it is in play.

Of course since Republicans (thanks to Citizens United) have the treasuries of all of the corps in the Chamber of Commerce plus Saudi Arabia and China to pay for their campaigns, it won’t matter.

And Trish, thanks for proving my point about why Democrats can’t win in this state. Its not about conservatism. Its about racism.

GaBlue

April 4th, 2011
12:02 pm

Disclaimer: The majority of Auburn Alumni disavow the vile, disgusting, putrid, racist bile spewed by the nasty, ugly, bitter, loveless, narcissistic hater who uses our Alma Mater’s battle cry in her blog name. (While it’s true that some Auburn graduates are still living in a 19th-Century fantasy, they are the minority, and represent neither the school nor the people who love it.) Thank you for reading this disclaimer.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
12:04 pm

TD,

You know what raises health care costs? No check on the behavior of insurance companies. That’s what raises health care costs. And its older Republicans that will be screaming when Republicans slash Social Security and Medicare benefits ‘to reduce the deficit.’ While at the same time reducing taxes for the rich.

The country would be better off letting the South secede from the union. The confederacy was right. About leaving.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

April 4th, 2011
12:08 pm

I doubt GaBlue graduated from AU. If he had, he would be able to define racism and learn not to overuse the word. Then again, he could just have received a B.A. which I lovingly call the “Barista arts” degree, due to the large number of starbucks baristas who hold the degree,

DannyX

April 4th, 2011
12:13 pm

“You libs just can not face the facts that this is a center right nation and these center left and far left policies are not going to be approved by the vast majority of the citizens.”

Lol, yea sure the libs are delusional!

This very own blog today is centered on a President with more than a decent chance of getting re-elected. The other story is about a Georgia Republican trying to stir up trouble by questioning the very popular, and now very mainstream DADT repeal, bringing nothing to the table but out of date, far right rhetoric.

Tea Party popularity has plunged since the election.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
12:16 pm

Yes Trisha. It isn’t Racism when you say that there were no riots in Japan because no black people live there.

The civil war was started because of Economics.

There is no similarity between what Clinton said “What is the definition of is” and what you said there.

Unicorns are real.

The market fairy will solve all your problems.

Corporations are your friend.

Enjoy living in your little world.

the original and still the best John Galt

April 4th, 2011
12:16 pm

Don’t ever believe anything Gates and the rest of the brass at the Pentagon say. They are all liars, so much so that they don’t even know the difference between the truth and a lie any more.

They will claim that “fully integrating” homosexuals into all areas of the U.S. military is going “seamlessly” but don’t you believe it.

Quotas for homosexuals graduating from all the service schools, and promotion quotas for homosexuals, are right around the corner. Quotas for gender and race, and the double standards that support those quotas, are already in place, and the new protected minority in the services won’t be far behind. The first openly homosexual SEAL, the first openly homosexual pilot, and the first openly homosexual general and or flag officer will be proudly paraded. The degradation of our war fighting ability proceeds.

GaBlue

April 4th, 2011
12:20 pm

td,

Sooo…. If I’m hearing you correctly, then this “center right nation” that the “libs cannot accept” did indeed elect Barack Obama with a majority popular vote. Okay, I’m always open to another perspective. So, by your reasoning then, the “libs” who are unhappy with the President for not being far enough to the “left” are a minority, and therefore, the President’s chances of being reelected are pretty good! Is that what you’re saying?

td

April 4th, 2011
12:21 pm

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
12:01 pm

“Of course since Republicans (thanks to Citizens United) have the treasuries of all of the corps in the Chamber of Commerce plus Saudi Arabia and China to pay for their campaigns, it won’t matter”

That is a fallacy myth by the Dems. How is Obama going to raise $1 billion without the support of businesses? There was a report on the amount given to him from Wall street in 2008 and it far outpaced the amount given to McCain. The head of GE is one of his best friends. Do you really think he or GE will support the Republican candidate? The two riches men in America are Obama supporters plus the head of Starbucks, Facebook, Google. I think your argument just went down the drain.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
12:21 pm

Dear Mr. Galt,

Do you also agree with Ann Rayn’s premise that rape was a good thing?

Is your perfect hero a dashing and rebellious misunderstood Rich guy who actually does all the work and that could make the world a better place if only people would simply listen to him?

Is your idea of utopia getting rid of all those pesky government workers who should instead be slaves to society because they were dumb enough to work for the all imposing tyranical government?

How much did you donate to charity last year Mr. Galt? You know, the charity that will take care of all those problems that government won’t because you’re taxed? Did you donate more to charity because your taxes went down?

Did you even donate more to the libertarian party besides the bare minimum dues you needed to pay to be a member?

Inquiring minds want to know Mr. Galt.

Bubba

April 4th, 2011
12:21 pm

The drama of politics if fine if you can take it as farcical comedy. If you take it seriously, it’s tragedy.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
12:24 pm

TD,

While I agree with you that you would THINK businesses would not want to donate to Obama, the fallacy in your own logic is that businesses can and do donate to both sides because they OWN the Democratic and Republican party and have to pay for both to retain that ownership. It is true that Democrats will tap businesses (without asking anything in return) but the rate of Business donation to Republicans will far outstrip that of the Democrats because the democrats have to go through the motions of pretending to care what their base thinks about.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights.....

April 4th, 2011
12:24 pm

Randolph Philips, April 4th, 2011 11:32 am-

Yeah, the Georgia General Assembly was poised to pass the legislation requiring Presidential candidates to produce a birth certificate before being put on the ballot in Georgia in 2012, but you gotta remember that the same legislators, who want to appear to be taking a hard-line against a guy who is perceived as a left-wing extremist in these parts, are also almost literally every other week turning around, crawling on their hands and knees and begging the same this guy whom they claim to hate so much desperately for federal money to deepen the Savannah River so that the Port of Savannah can handle larger ships and process more international cargo and federal money for roads and mass transit to help deal with the small problem of traffic here in Georgia. Seeing as those these supposedly hard-line red-blooded red-state Republicans are on their hands and knees every week desperately begging the supposedly left-wing messiah for money at every turn, it was probably a good idea for them to tone down the rhetoric at the risk of them seeming to bite the proverbial hand that feeds them as was demonstrated not too long ago when the bulk of grant money for high-speed rail was awarded to neighboring rivals NC and FL while GA barely got a few pennies.

Mystic55

April 4th, 2011
12:27 pm

And fortunately Florida’s governor turned down the high speed rail money thus ensuring it went to a non Red state. Thanks Florida!

findog

April 4th, 2011
12:30 pm

td@ 11:26
If only W had paid attention in those same top secret intelligence briefings