One day after an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to speak up for President Barack Obama, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed returned to the network to handicap Tuesday’s second presidential debate.
The question posed by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd was simple. What advice would you have for the president? To understand Reed’s reply, you need to know that the mayor is a very big boxing fan.
Reed’s advice for the president:
”Don’t over-correct. When you have sustained as much criticism as the president has, you can over-correct. The president had severe ring rust. You know what it’s like being around a president. He’s really not accustomed to people talking to him in the way that Mitt Romney did, after four years of running the country. He had ring rust.”
I.e., in boxing lingo, Obama was out of practice. Reed continued:
”I compared it to the Ali-Frazier fight in 1971, when Frazier knocked the champ down. Nobody expected that. But Ali went on to win the second and the third fights, and history remembers the winners.
“So I think he can’t over-correct, and he needs not to protect his likeability so much. I think he’s over-coached on his likeability, which is a very important quality. But the president will do what is needed. That’s why he’s been down for the last few days.”
Late last week, during an interview with the AJC’s Daniel Malloy in Washington, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson – a former chairman of the state Board of Education — joined Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and declared his neutrality in the fight over the charter school measure on the Nov. 6 ballot:
Malloy: What do you think of the charter schools amendment?
Isakson: That’s up to the state board of education and the Legislature. I’m a member of Congress, so I’m not involved.
Malloy: What do you think about charters in general?
Isakson: I was a big supporter of charter schools when I was chairman of the state school board. The first charter we granted was Addison Elementary in east Cobb, and I was very proud of that. …I’m just a big supporter of charter schools, but I’ll let them determine how to structure it at the state level.
An AJC poll this weekend concluded that the contest over the proposed constitutional amendment has become a toss-up.
The Atlanta City Council recently passed a resolution condemning the charter school ballot issue, and sent its opinion to members of the state Legislature.
State Rep. Steve Davis, R-McDonough, who lost a primary bid for re-election, has sent a reply that included this:
Thank you for sending me this very misguided resolution from your council. The very children that stand to gain the most from this amendment are probably in your city.
Anyways, I wanted to inform you that I was in your traffic court a few months ago and noticed that the court room had an old Georgia flag. The flag was changed almost ten years ago. While I could understand if this was someone’s office or board room, but in the court room that enforces our current laws? Change the flags in your court rooms to the legal State of Georgia flag as mandated in State Law.
Guessing here, but the “old state flag” is probably the one passed during the Roy Barnes administration, not the older one with the Confederate battle emblem.
Dignitaries attending a Sunday wake/remembrance in Brookhaven for the late Dick Pettys, the long-time political reporter for the Associated Press and – for a few years – InsiderAdvantage, included former Gov. Roy Barnes, University Chancellor Hank Huckaby, a representative of Gov. Nathan Deal, retired political columnist Bill Shipp and Norman Underwood, the former U.S. Senate and gubernatorial candidate.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was one of those who delivered eulogies. His deputy chief of staff, Joan Kirchner, who worked with Pettys at AP for nine years, was another.
The most unusual aspect of the evening was “toast” to Pettys made with PayDay candy bars. Bite-sized packages were passed through the pews, followed by a simultaneous, group chomp. This rite was followed by another toast, made with 25-year-old scotch, to Pettys’ high school journalism teacher, led by a former classmate, state Rep. Joe Wilkinson, R-Sandy Springs.
My former AJC colleague Tom Baxter has one of the sharper appreciations written on behalf of the dean of the Capitol press corps:
There’s no telling how much money Dick Pettys saved the state over the years, but it would be enough to erect a state building in his honor. He did this not with any brilliant investigative stories, but by showing up in a lot of places and watching, by reading bills and asking about the fuzzy particulars, by remembering the tricks people tried to pull long enough to call them out when they tried to pull the same tricks again a few years later.
Simple things, you might say, but all manner of mischief can be uprooted by the patient repetition of those simple things. Sometimes all it takes is one set of eyeballs or one question to thwart a bald-faced grab for money or power. That makes it all the more disturbing that there are fewer eyes watching government these days, and fewer mouths to ask the questions.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will be in Georgia today on behalf of Lee Anderson, the GOP challenger to U.S. Rep. John Barrow. From the Augusta Chronicle:
Boehner, an 11-term congressman from Ohio, will campaign for Anderson at a $250-a-head fundraiser Monday night at the West Lake home of Martinez businessman Wayne Brown.
Boehner’s appearance, on the heels of a appearance Thursday by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for Anderson in Sandy Springs, speaks to the high-profile nature of the House race. An Anderson win, along with a victory by state Rep. Doug Collins in the new 14th Congressional District, could shift Georgia’s GOP delegation in Congress from eight to 10.
Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee is out with another TV ad on Anderson’s behalf – which could have curious implications:
The ad takes Barrow to task for declaring that his support for President Barack Obama “is beside the point.”
That’s all well and good. But throughout the general election, Anderson has said he wouldn’t debate Barrow until the Democratic incumbent admitted his support for Obama on television.
Well, that condition has now been met, and in a GOP ad no less. So when’s the debate?
Christmas has come early for a certain court official in south metro Atlanta. From a summary issued by Georgia’s high court this morning:
The Supreme Court of Georgia has ruled in favor of Fayette County Solicitor-General Jamie Inagawa, partially reversing a lower court’s ruling and finding that the Fayette County Board of Commissioners illegally reduced Inagawa’s salary and must now pay him more than five years of back pay.
The tone-deaf headline over a Barack Obama press release that arrived Sunday:
Musician Bruce Springsteen Adds Iowa Appearance for Obama-Biden Campaign
Apparently, the Electrician Bruce Springsteen and the Actuary Bruce Springsteen were busy.
One more tidbit to remind you that life is serious business. From the New York Times:
Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.
That conclusion, of which President Obama and other senior officials are aware from classified assessments of the Syrian conflict that has now claimed more than 25,000 lives, casts into doubt whether the White House’s strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States.
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at an international Social Security agreement that, a group called the Senior Citizens League has declared, would give “millions of Mexican citizens” who become “a far stronger claim to benefits and protection against cuts than U.S. citizens!”
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider