Connect with us

archive

In Georgia, a Republican becomes a capitalist punching bag

MIchelle Nunn is probably wishing she weren’t so chummy with Obama.

In a sun-dappled square decorated with scores of entrants in the communityâ??s Halloween scarecrow contest, a balky sound system enables, if barely, the Republican Senate candidate to exhort a few hundred people, mostly supporters, to urge neighbors to vote to reduce Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to minority leader. The exhorter is David Perdue, a glutton for punishment who has been campaigning incessantly for 15 months and may be doing so for two more.

A Jan. 6 vote would end his second runoff, which would be necessary if, because the Libertarian candidate gets perhaps 5 percent of the vote, neither Perdue nor his Democratic opponent, Michelle Nunn, wins 50 percent of the vote next Tuesday. Perdueâ??s first runoff, a nine-week slog ending in July, resulted when none of the seven Republican primary candidates reached 50 percent.

While the grandson of former governor Jimmy Carter runs for governor, Perdue, the cousin of Georgiaâ??s two-term governor Sonny Perdue, is running against the daughter of former four-term senator Sam Nunn.Barack Obamaâ??s unpopularity is her principal problem, but bucking such head winds is a family tradition. In 1972, when her father won his first term, George McGovern led the Democratic ticket, en route to losing 49 states, including Georgia by 50 points. Nunn won by eight.

That Michelle Nunn might win Tuesday, or at least force a runoff, illustrates a paradox of Republican politics: Republicans prefer the private sector to the public. Americans profess admiration for markets and those who prosper in them. But voters can recoil from market rationality.

Perdue, 64, won the nomination by stressing that he is a stranger to politics and is a practicing capitalist (â??I would be the only Fortune 500 CEO in the Senateâ?ť), thereby touching two Republican erogenous zones. But capitalist rationality is more beneficent than pretty, which is a problem.

Nunn, 47, is a political novice from the nonprofit sector, which is doubly ideal: She has no record in any office to attack, and she has never made the political mistake of making a profit. In Perdueâ??s attempts to revive failing companies, he took some measures that Nunn says â?? and he vehemently disputes â?? outsourced jobs, making him vulnerable to reprises of the attacks on Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney was first attacked as a â??vulture capitalistâ?ť by rivals in the Republican primaries. Nunn is recycling attacksthat Perdueâ??s Republican rivals began, and she is using an advertising firm that made anti-Romney ads.

Todayâ??s saturation campaigning exhausts the power of particular attacks. But more than a half-million votes will probably have been cast by Tuesday, many of them when those attacks were fresh. Making the campaign about Perdueâ??s business past has enabled Nunn to avoid dwelling on the future â?? why Georgians, many of whom think the country is on the wrong track, should send another senator into Reidâ??s obedient ranks,

It will be difficult for Nunn to reach 50 percent in this still-red state that Romney won by only 7.8 points, compared with his victory margins in the contiguous states of South Carolina (10.5 points), Alabama (22.2) and Tennessee (20.4). And in a runoff, with the national excitement having subsided, turnout would be down, especially among three crucial Democratic constituencies â?? minorities, young people and unmarried ­women.

By then, and for similar reasons, a likely runoff in Louisiana on Dec. 6 may have sealed or enlarged a Republican Senate majority, reducing Georgiansâ?? interest in sending a new senator to join the Democratic minority.

Nunn, 47, is a political novice from the nonprofit sector, which is doubly ideal: She has no record in any office to attack, and she has never made the political mistake of making a profit. In Perdueâ??s attempts to revive failing companies, he took some measures that Nunn says â?? and he vehemently disputes â?? outsourced jobs, making him vulnerable to reprises of the attacks on Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney was first attacked as a â??vulture capitalistâ?ť by rivals in the Republican primaries. Nunn is recycling attacksthat Perdueâ??s Republican rivals began, and she is using an advertising firm that made anti-Romney ads.

Todayâ??s saturation campaigning exhausts the power of particular attacks. But more than a half-million votes will probably have been cast by Tuesday, many of them when those attacks were fresh. Making the campaign about Perdueâ??s business past has enabled Nunn to avoid dwelling on the future â?? why Georgians, many of whom think the country is on the wrong track, should send another senator into Reidâ??s obedient ranks,

It will be difficult for Nunn to reach 50 percent in this still-red state that Romney won by only 7.8 points, compared with his victory margins in the contiguous states of South Carolina (10.5 points), Alabama (22.2) and Tennessee (20.4). And in a runoff, with the national excitement having subsided, turnout would be down, especially among three crucial Democratic constituencies â?? minorities, young people and unmarried ­women.

By then, and for similar reasons, a likely runoff in Louisiana on Dec. 6 may have sealed or enlarged a Republican Senate majority, reducing Georgiansâ?? interest in sending a new senator to join the Democratic minority.

Written By

George F. Will is one of the most widely recognized, and widely read, writers in the world. With more than 450 newspapers, his biweekly Newsweek column, and his appearances as a political commentator on ABC, Will may be the most influential writer in America.

Advertisement
Advertisement

TRENDING NOW:

archive

In Georgia, a Republican becomes a capitalist punching bag

In a sun-dappled square decorated with scores of entrants in the community’s Halloween scarecrow contest, a balky sound system enables, if barely, the Republican Senate candidate to exhort a few hundred people, mostly supporters, to urge neighbors to vote to reduce Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to minority leader. The exhorter is David Perdue, a glutton for punishment who has been campaigning incessantly for 15 months and may be doing so for two more.

A Jan. 6 vote would end his second runoff, which would be necessary if, because the Libertarian candidate gets perhaps 5 percent of the vote, neither Perdue nor his Democratic opponent, Michelle Nunn, wins 50 percent of the vote next Tuesday. Perdue’s first runoff, a nine-week slog ending in July, resulted when none of the seven Republican primary candidates reached 50 percent.

While the grandson of former governor Jimmy Carter runs for governor, Perdue, the cousin of Georgia’s two-term governor Sonny Perdue, is running against the daughter of former four-term senator Sam Nunn.Barack Obama’s unpopularity is her principal problem, but bucking such head winds is a family tradition. In 1972, when her father won his first term, George McGovern led the Democratic ticket, en route to losing 49 states, including Georgia by 50 points. Nunn won by eight.

That Michelle Nunn might win Tuesday, or at least force a runoff, illustrates a paradox of Republican politics: Republicans prefer the private sector to the public. Americans profess admiration for markets and those who prosper in them. But voters can recoil from market rationality.

Perdue, 64, won the nomination by stressing that he is a stranger to politics and is a practicing capitalist (“I would be the only Fortune 500 CEO in the Senate”), thereby touching two Republican erogenous zones. But capitalist rationality is more beneficent than pretty, which is a problem.

Nunn, 47, is a political novice from the nonprofit sector, which is doubly ideal: She has no record in any office to attack, and she has never made the political mistake of making a profit. In Perdue’s attempts to revive failing companies, he took some measures that Nunn says — and he vehemently disputes — outsourced jobs, making him vulnerable to reprises of the attacks on Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney was first attacked as a “vulture capitalist” by rivals in the Republican primaries. Nunn is recycling attacksthat Perdue’s Republican rivals began, and she is using an advertising firm that made anti-Romney ads.

Today’s saturation campaigning exhausts the power of particular attacks. But more than a half-million votes will probably have been cast by Tuesday, many of them when those attacks were fresh. Making the campaign about Perdue’s business past has enabled Nunn to avoid dwelling on the future — why Georgians, many of whom think the country is on the wrong track, should send another senator into Reid’s obedient ranks,

It will be difficult for Nunn to reach 50 percent in this still-red state that Romney won by only 7.8 points, compared with his victory margins in the contiguous states of South Carolina (10.5 points), Alabama (22.2) and Tennessee (20.4). And in a runoff, with the national excitement having subsided, turnout would be down, especially among three crucial Democratic constituencies — minorities, young people and unmarried ­women.

By then, and for similar reasons, a likely runoff in Louisiana on Dec. 6 may have sealed or enlarged a Republican Senate majority, reducing Georgians’ interest in sending a new senator to join the Democratic minority.

Nunn, 47, is a political novice from the nonprofit sector, which is doubly ideal: She has no record in any office to attack, and she has never made the political mistake of making a profit. In Perdue’s attempts to revive failing companies, he took some measures that Nunn says — and he vehemently disputes — outsourced jobs, making him vulnerable to reprises of the attacks on Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney was first attacked as a “vulture capitalist” by rivals in the Republican primaries. Nunn is recycling attacksthat Perdue’s Republican rivals began, and she is using an advertising firm that made anti-Romney ads.

Today’s saturation campaigning exhausts the power of particular attacks. But more than a half-million votes will probably have been cast by Tuesday, many of them when those attacks were fresh. Making the campaign about Perdue’s business past has enabled Nunn to avoid dwelling on the future — why Georgians, many of whom think the country is on the wrong track, should send another senator into Reid’s obedient ranks,

It will be difficult for Nunn to reach 50 percent in this still-red state that Romney won by only 7.8 points, compared with his victory margins in the contiguous states of South Carolina (10.5 points), Alabama (22.2) and Tennessee (20.4). And in a runoff, with the national excitement having subsided, turnout would be down, especially among three crucial Democratic constituencies — minorities, young people and unmarried ­women.

By then, and for similar reasons, a likely runoff in Louisiana on Dec. 6 may have sealed or enlarged a Republican Senate majority, reducing Georgians’ interest in sending a new senator to join the Democratic minority.

TRENDING NOW:

THE TRUTH ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING: REAL THREAT OR HYSTERIA?

archive

Dystopia Alert: A Decimating National Debt

archive

Guest Columnist: Why We Must Have a Border Wall

archive

Rising Social Agenda Brings Luster to Qualified Dividends

archive

Connect