As a citizen of the Great State of Georgia, allow me to say that I am seriously considering voting for Michelle Nunn. My reasons are the same reasons she is doing very well across the state.
The reason Michelle Nunn is running more-or-less even with Perdue is that she comes from a family famous in the state for excellent service in the Senate. Her father is almost a watchword for what a good Senator should look like. In addition, she's made her career working with the Bush family ever since the first Bush administration. So Republicans can look at her and see a woman who can reach across the aisle, has plenty of respect from their own party, and has a kind of life-long apprenticeship from the man whose Senate career Georgia voters already most respect.For that matter, I am considering voting for Jason Carter, Jimmy Carter's grandson. This is not because I am enthusiastic about him as a candidate. It is because Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent, has been a terrible governor. Longtime readers of the page will remember that I supported his candidacy in 2010, on the strength of his having been a perfectly decent congressman (in my district) for a long time. His performance as governor ought to be disqualifying for a second term.
David Perdue comes from the same family as Sonny Perdue, a recent governor who broke key election promises to base voters, and was unimpressive as governor. David Perdue has no experience in politics from which to judge, but he made his career on Wall Street, a place whose name normally turns up in Georgia elections as a curse: e.g., 'If elected, I will defend the values of Main Street against Wall Street.'
Partly I think the length of his service in Washington is responsible, as it detached him from his state for so long and attached him to powerful national interests instead. A man who had spent more time at home would not have bungled last year's blizzard so badly, because any native son of Georgia should have known how huge a disaster even a few inches of snow and ice would be for the state.
Setting all that aside, however, how can you excuse the worst unemployment rate in the entire nation? This isn't Detroit! A Republican governor with a Republican legislature, if he accomplishes nothing else, ought at least to be a spur to the economy. If he can't do that -- and very manifestly he cannot -- how can he possibly put himself forward for a second term?
Well, I know the arguments against voting Democratic, because they are helpfully mailed to me by various interest groups. Presumably a Democratic governor and Senator cannot be trusted on gun rights, and will try to drive Georgia against its grain on social issues. A Democratic Senate is harmful in terms of court appointments, including to the Supreme Court in the event that a vacancy should occur. It is also harmful in terms of oversight, and there is perhaps even a positive national program that a unified Congress could push on a reluctant, lame-duck President.
The issues Dr. Helen and her cohort raise frankly don't rise to the same level of consideration. I don't dismiss them, but they pale beside the issues of national destiny and character we face.
Why might a man vote Democratic? I have not decided that I will, because the national concerns especially are very pressing. But now you know why I might: because the Democrats have recruited better candidates, and the Republicans currently serving at the state level have done a disgraceful job.