A fundraising email sent out by the Newt Gingrich campaign last night carried a subject line of “South Carolina or bust” and declared that state’s Jan. 21 primary to be “make or break for this campaign.”
We’ll have to wait until Jan. 22 to see whether that’s so. But Secretary of State Brian Kemp is hoping that the GOP presidential contest will hobble along until March 6.
Because Georgia has emerged as the state to win that day.
Last month, because of continued court wrangling over new district lines, Texas pulled out of Super Tuesday and postponed their presidential primary until April 3. “Their presidential primary serves as their regular primary. They didn’t want to have two elections,” Kemp said.
Texas and its 155 delegates — home to Gov. Rick Perry — would have been the primary target on March 6. Georgia has 76 delegates at stake.
Perhaps just as important, Virginia has sidelined itself by limiting its ballot to Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Other candidates, the state party ruled, didn’t come up with the required and vetted 10,000 signatures. Virginia has only 49 delegates, but its proximity to the District of Columbia would have meant an oversized media focus.
“You don’t have the whole field competing there. I guess Romney and Paul could,” Kemp surmised.
That leaves Georgia and Ohio (66 delegates) as the largest prizes. “If the race continues to Super Tuesday, we’re in a position to be very relevant that day. And that’s what we were hoping for,” the secretary of state said. “We’ll have to see how it plays out.”
Georgians will be able to begin participating in their state’s presidential primary a week from this Saturday – the same day South Carolinians vote. That’s when Georgia’s absentee voting begins. Advanced, in-person balloting begins Feb. 13.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed caused something of a stir at the White House on Tuesday – by giving a vociferous defense of President Barack Obama at a supposedly non-partisan event focused on the development of small businesses.
Reed was a prominent – but silent – face at Obama’s side during the president’s address to a roomful of business men and women. His remarks came during a question-and-answer session in the White House press room:
Reed showed that he’s absorbed Newt Gingrich’s talking points. “If you look at what he has done…versus what Mr. Romney did at Bain Capital – I think this president is going to win that argument,” Reed said.
Then there was this often-used line from the Atlanta mayor: “When there was a decision to be made about saving the auto industry in the United States of America, he supported it. Mitt Romney criticized it.”
It might not have been a coincidence that White House handlers shut off the questions after Reed’s remarks. But the mayor told Scott MacFarlane of Channel 2 Action News that he had no regrets.
“I will do anything they ask me to do in order to help this president. I think he’s earned re-election. I think he’s led this country admirably,” Reed said.
Talk radio heavyweight Rush Limbaugh may be chastising Newt Gingrich for his criticism of Mitt Romney’s venture capital days, but the Republican party’s more populist voice is not. From Politico.com:
Sarah Palin suggested Wednesday that Mitt Romney has brought his Bain problems on himself by not being transparent and offering no documentation for the claim that he created 100,000 net jobs and refusing to release his tax returns.
“Gov. Romney has claimed to have created a 100,00 jobs at Bain, and people are wanting to know, is there proof of that claim and was it U.S. jobs created for United States citizens? … And that’s fair,” Palin told Sean Hannity of Fox News when asked about Rick Perry’s “vulture” caplitalism charge against Romney. “That’s not negative campaigning — that’s fair to get a candidate to be held accountable to what’s being claimed.”
Two overseas developments are worth your attention today. First, from the New York Times:
Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday that after meeting with Egypt’s military rulers he doubted they would fully submit to the authority of the civilian democracy they had promised to install.
“ ‘Full civilian control’ is a little excessive, I think,” Mr. Carter said, after describing a meeting he had Tuesday with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, leader of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF. “I don’t think the SCAF is going to turn over full responsibility to the civilian government. There are going to be some privileges of the military that would probably be protected.”
Then there are these paragraphs from the Los Angeles Times:
The U.S. intelligence community says in a secret new assessment that the war in Afghanistan is mired in stalemate, and warns that security gains from an increase in American troops have been undercut by pervasive corruption, incompetent governance and Taliban fighters operating from neighboring Pakistan, according to U.S. officials.
Here’s the nut of the article:
As a result, the NIE warns that the overall difficulties could jeopardize the Obama administration’s plans to withdraw most U.S. troops and hand over responsibility for the war to the Afghan government by 2014.
Finally, the AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s assertion that the board of directors of Common Cause Georgia are being hypocritical when they criticize the nexus of campaign contributions and concession contracts at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider