Your daily jolt: Gloves off, Kasim Reed enters tonight’s post-debate spin room

When Democrats gathered in Charlotte last month, many wondered why Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed – a hard-charging defender of President Barack Obama — had no speaking role during the national convention.

Newark Mayor Corey Booker, many theorized, was the preferred choice because of his low-key approach and appeal to independents.

From Obama’s perspective, the time for low-key is apparently over.

On Sunday, Reed was the chosen Obama surrogate on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” On Monday morning, it was an MSNBC interview with Chuck Todd. Boxing metaphors flew with each appearance. On Monday evening, Reed snagged time with CNN’s Piers Morgan to set expectations for the president’s performance.

This morning, the Obama campaign released a list of two-dozen spinners who will be in New York to persuade journalists that Obama won this evening’s debate. Reed, not Booker, is among them.

CORRECTION: On Monday, the Insider blog identified the John McCallum in a Brunswick News article on ghost-hunting as the former 1998 Republican candidate for secretary of state. This was incorrect. The house belonged to another John McCallum in Glynn County. We regret the error.

Anti-tax guru Grover Norquist, who is not always viewed fondly in our GOP-controlled state Capitol, has joined the Republican effort to oust U.S. Rep. John Barrow.

Late last week, the president of Americans for Tax Reform declared it would drop $500,000 in TV ads on behalf of Republican Lee Anderson, who has signed Norquist’s pledge to vote against any increases in taxes.

This follows a TV ad launched by Barrow in which the Democratic incumbent accused Anderson of violating that pledge – by voting, as a member of the state House, to place the TSPLOST referendum on this summer’s ballot, and in favor of a hospital bed tax in 2010.

From a Barrow press release issued Monday:

“Lee Anderson repeatedly violated ATR’s pledge when he voted for tax increases adopted by the Georgia legislature,” said Richard Carbo, spokesman for Congressman John Barrow. “When Anderson’s Republican opponent attacked him for breaking their pledge, ATR didn’t lift a finger to defend him, but now that Anderson is the Republican nominee ATR treats him as the taxpayer’s friend.

Here’s the top reason that Norquist gave for supporting Anderson:

Republican Lee Anderson is the only candidate in the race to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to Georgia voters. John Barrow refuses to make that same promise to oppose all net tax hikes in Washington. Barrow’s Democratic allies in Washington propose tax hikes on a daily basis, which is reason enough to have concerns for his re-election in November.

But it also sounds as if Norquist is angry that Barrow has challenged – or at least hasn’t endorsed – his status as a financial arbiter in Washington:

When the Democrat Super PAC Center Forward aired more than $300,000 in false television ads attacking Lee Anderson for signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to Georgia taxpayers, Barrow remained silent. Both the Georgia Republican Party and Americans for Tax Reform urged him to take action but instead, he stood silent as his allies did the bidding for him.

Below is one of two Norquist ads against Barrow – and defending the ATR pledge:

For his part, John Barrow is basking in the glow of this ad touting his endorsement by the National Rifle Association:

Opening line: “I’m John Barrow, and long before I was born, my grandfather used this little Smith & Wesson to help stop a lynching.”

In the South, that’s the way you appeal to white Republican gun enthusiasts and black Democrats, all at the same time.

President Jimmy Carter’s grandson, who lives in Atlanta, was the fellow who helped bring Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” video into public view. He may be about to strike again.

Blue South Project issued this Tweet last night:

James Carter IV: Audio of Lee Atwater using the “N Word” repeatedly to describe #GOP Southern Strategy will be coming this week. #47Percent

Jonathan Shapiro at WABE (90.1FM) may have the most overlooked story of the day:

The Georgia World Congress Center is withdrawing from the state employee health plan due to its increased cost.

About a dozen state authorities and local school districts are also seeking cheaper alternatives.

The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Gov. Nathan Deal’s assertion that the state Department of Economic Development assisted with the creation of 28,776 jobs, an increase of 29 percent from last fiscal year, and $5.97 billion in investments, a 32 percent increase.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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10 comments Add your comment

Church of the painful Truth

October 16th, 2012
11:02 am

Jim Galloway-Regarding the State Health Insurance;my family coverage went up 30% over last year and the Year before that it went up 12%. Maybe the AJC needs to look at 1.Did the SHBP(State Health Benefit Plan) bid this years contract or did they renew last years with adjustments in cost.2.In the past two years was funding by the State cut for their share of cost to the SHBP and funds reallocated to Medicare for budget shortfalls.If so, the State Employees are getting a plan that could count for the large increase in cost.This insurance also affects retired state employees.Also please remember that State employees have not had an increase in pay since 2006.No cost of living or annual increases.


October 16th, 2012
11:23 am

Mayor Reed is such a wannabe. He is determined to be in the national spotlight. He could care less about Atlanta.


October 16th, 2012
11:24 am

Has Jimmy Carter’s grandson found a job yet?

Marlboro Man

October 16th, 2012
11:28 am

When you treat your employees like crap, they perform likewise.

Road Scholar

October 16th, 2012
11:44 am

“Republican Lee Anderson is the only candidate in the race to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to Georgia voters. John Barrow refuses to make that same promise to oppose all net tax hikes in Washington.”

Both have a brain, but Barrow uses his! Norquist will cause this country to fail! He was not elected by anyone.


October 16th, 2012
11:58 am

What we’ll see tonight will NOT be a debate. You will not see the “moderator” asking follow-up questions that request specifics, seek clarification, or hold either candidate accountable for the words he just uttered. Nor will the candidates ask questions of each other, or respond to whatever BS the other guy just said. There will be questions submitted by voters, many of whom I predict are too devoid of actual facts to delve beyond sound bites and irrelevant generalities (see Jim Lehrer) to ask much of anything pertinent.

If the first non-debate is any indicator, Rmoney will assert today’s positions with enthusiasm and the bright, gleaming eyes of a man who really means what he’s saying… at this particular moment in time (but will not answer for yesterday’s or tomorrow’s contradictions). He’ll jut his chin out with pride, like a four-yr-old holding his first baseball trophy. He’ll roll his eyes and blink rapidly while the President speaks, overtly chuckling at the absurdity whenever the President uses facts or anything verifiable with arithmetic or historical record. He’ll tell us what he intends to do, without telling us the details, and he’ll say it with conviction, by heck! How well a man flexes his testosterone is more important than facts when you’re on the tee-vee, you know.

What the President will do is anybody’s guess, but this won’t be a debate by any stretch of the definition. Keep your expectations low to avoid disappointment.


October 16th, 2012
12:02 pm

I love that NRA video.

Puerile Pedant

October 16th, 2012
12:45 pm

I think John Barrow’s nose just grew 6 inches.

As we used to say: “don’t swing that nose at me pinnochio” — we all know you and your ancestors don’t care about minorities. Its a southern thing.


October 16th, 2012
1:11 pm

Looks like James Carter IV is poised and ready to let more of the truth out of the bag.

Just a reminder ”
Mittens has been undone by his own unspeakable arrogance, and the grandson of a peanut farmer”

Vote no on Charter Schools

God Bless America

Re-Elect President OBAMA


October 16th, 2012
3:53 pm

kasim want his man obama to come out strong in this debate and take no prisoners—he need to show voters that romney is not the candidate for african-americans and other minorities