Tomorrow will mean the end of the road for either President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. For others, including Gov. Nathan Deal, it’s the starting pistol for the 2014 campaign.
Over weekend, Deal addressed Republicans in Cobb County. One day after an AJC article poked at his decision to give a plum position to the wife of a top aide and six days after a tea party leader dissed his ballot issue on charter schools, the governor had an assessment of his critics. From Jon Gillooly and the Marietta Daily Journal:
Deal said he has a new term for bloggers who have lately been blasting him.
“You know what I call those folks that do that kind of thing? I’ve come up with my own term. They are political arsonists,” Deal said. “They go out and say these things. They start a little fire over here, they go over here and start another little fire over here, and when the fire goes out on its own causes – which, you know, the tinder for political fires is the truth.
“When there’s not enough truth to sustain the fire, and it goes out, they then say, ‘well, see, we told you we were right. If we hadn’t done what we did, that fire would still be with you.’ Well no, not necessarily. I believe that you have a responsibility to make informed and good judgment calls. It should not be a political arena in which we make judgment calls without knowing where all the facts are.”
Deal didn’t name any names, so we asked his spokesman, Brian Robinson, to explain who the governor was talking about. Here’s Robinson’s e-mail reply from last night:
Governor Deal recently coined the phrase ‘political arsonists’ to describe those who start fires just to see the flames. There’s no substance, just heat and color. Political arson is manufactured outrage to describe the mundane, benign and banal.
“Governor Deal is not preaching or taking himself too seriously; it’s cheeky commentary on how over-the-top so much of our scandal-obsessed media coverage and political discourse is. I’m sure election-fatigued Americans overwhelmingly agree with his analysis.
“But just as important, Governor Deal sets an example for what civility in politics would look like. He treats those who disagree with him on issues with respect and acknowledges that people with different viewpoints can also have noble intentions.”
So drop those matches, you pyromaniacs. I’m looking at you, Charlie Harper.
My household received the strangest robo-call from Monica Pearson, the former anchor for Channel 2 Action News, over the weekend. It was a get-out-the-vote call, but only that — no mention of any candidate, and no mention of a sponsor. Anybody else get that one?
Over at the Crystal Ball, Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia called it for President Barack Obama this morning:
With a slight, unexpected lift provided by Hurricane Sandy, Mother Nature’s October surprise, President Barack Obama appears poised to win his second term tomorrow. Our final Electoral College projection has the president winning the key swing states of Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin and topping Mitt Romney, with 290 electoral votes.
One of my favorite Republican number-crunchers sent a notable note this morning:
FYI, in the last 5 presidential elections, every Democratic presidential candidate (win or lose) has gotten at least 250 electoral votes—Gore won 267 in 2000 (though ending up with 266 because of a faithless elector) and Kerry won 252 in 2004 (but ended up with 251 again because of the faithless elector). No Republican presidential candidate has broken 300 since the first President Bush back in 1988—who took 426 that year.
Speaking of Larry Sabato, the AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at his contention that among voters, “the higher the education level, the more likely they are to vote Democratic.”
The news comes out of Jerusalem, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has declared that he’ll stick with the Republican ticket and vote for Mitt Romney on Tuesday. From Reuters:
“The fact of the matter is what New Jerseyans expect from their governor is to work for them, not to work for any particular political party,” Christie told Israel’s Channel 2 television in an interview broadcast on Sunday.
“I’m a Republican and I have endorsed Mitt Romney, I support him and I intend to vote for him on Tuesday,” said Christie, interviewed in his home state by a visiting Israeli television reporter.
U.S. Sen. Senator Saxby Chambliss is in Rocky Mount, N.C., this morning, holding down the fort while Mitt Romney campaigns in a host of swing states.
After at least one previously postponed attempt, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan held a conference call with supporters of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition. From the New York Times:
Representative Paul D. Ryan accused President Obama on Sunday of taking the country down a path that compromised Judeo-Christian values and the traditions of Western civilization….
“It’s a dangerous path,” Mr. Ryan said, describing Mr. Obama’s policies. “It’s a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place.”’
Regardless of who wins the presidential contest on Tuesday, a reduced level of back-biting can be expected from the losing side, given this note from the Gallup organization:
Fifty-eight percent of Americans are satisfied with the conduct of Barack Obama’s campaign, and 54% are satisfied with the conduct of Mitt Romney’s.
Sixty-six percent of Americans expressed satisfaction with Obama’s 2008 campaign. A record-low 40 percent were pleased with the campaign run by his rival four years ago, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
For those of you who saw this message on the marquee of Lassiter High School in east Cobb County on Sunday, know that it was the work of Saturday-night pranksters and has been taken down, according to Cobb school system spokesman Jay Dillon:
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is in Atlanta today , to talk to Gov. Nathan Deal this morning, to watch the Falcons hang onto their unbeaten record on Sunday and — before the game started — to answer questions from a group of loyal Falcons gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center. From Maria Saporta and the Saporta Report:
Somehow, many of the answers would circle back around to the need for a new Atlanta Falcons stadium to replace the 21-year-old Georgia Dome.
“One of our biggest challenges in the League is the experience at home,” Goodell said. “H-D is only going to get better. It starts with a great facility,” Goodell said, adding that it was important for fans to feel safe going to games, for there to be latest technology with scoreboards and mobile devices. “There’s nothing better than being in a stadium with 70,000 people.”
Atlanta Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank agreed. “There are limitations in what we can do at the Georgia Dome,” he said. “Technology is terribly important. That will be completely solved in a new stadium.”
As you’ll recall, we told you last week that a deal between the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the Falcons and the city of Atlanta will likely require a sign-off by the governor and the Legislature.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider