Is it the GOP or Dems who eat their own? Tom Crawford: "Norwood could just as easily be a moderate Republican or a conservative Democrat."
The first last month involved Clark Atlanta University political scientists Keith Jennings and William Boone. They wrote in a memo and then held a news conference to say that they said but did not intend to suggest that Atlanta's black voters unite behind a single candidate in order to block the election of a white person.
They identified Lisa Borders as the black candidate best able to beat Mary Norwood.
And although Kasim Reed would denounce the piece and Mayor Shirley Franklin called it bigoted, it was not racist because, in effect, Jennings and Boone said it was not racist.
The second occurrence came earlier this week when Jane Kidd decreed that "[t]he person that’s going to be mayor of Atlanta should reflect the Democratic nature of Atlanta," and that "[a]s far as we’re concerned, Mary Norwood’s a Republican." Kidd then proceeded to go into full attack mode at the campaign's eleventh hour (all apparently without first going to the party's Executive Committee, but even if such approval had been sought and obtained, this still would not have made this move any less foolish, ill-conceived and damaging next Tuesday to the public's perception of the Democratic Party of Georgia).
This attack came despite what had been the conventional thinking prior to such attack as expressed Friday morning by Tom Crawford, editor of Capitol Impact, a subscription service taken by many state government officials (Tom also covers politics for Georgia Trend; I read his weekly column at this link):
On the ideological issues, there are not many deep differences among the three leading candidates. Norwood is a political type familiar to Georgia politics, a person who could just as easily be a moderate Republican or a conservative Democrat.
Although Borders and Reed both quickly said they did not instigate the involvement by the Democratic Party of Georgia, they both fell hook, line and sinker for Kidd's foolish attempt to have party affiliation determine the race's outcome, and in the aftermath of Kidd's participation they emphasized that they are authentic Democrats rather than their credentials for this high profile office.
Kidd's hit ads have, in effect, allowed Norwood to have it both ways, even though this was Kidd's purported justification for her decision to go on the attack. Norwood is able to rattle off a list of Democrats she has voted for without proclaiming to bleed blue.
The reaction by Borders and Reed to Kidd's involvement is a new emphasis of party above all else. Do they think that all likely voters next Tuesday are Democrats, or even something as sinister and racist as only African Americans are Democrats?
I always enjoy chatting with Mayor Franklin when I run into her at party functions.
I hope to develop a good relationship with Mary Norwood in the event she is elected mayor as recent polls suggest.
This time last week one could have justifiably been thinking that it would be great that if she is elected, and with the 2010 governor's race approaching, Norwood just might want to become involved in party affairs and even attend party functions. Obviously, any such wishful thinking has been complicated if not trashed, and forgiving and forgetting will not be a given. And for what useful purpose I know not.
Regardless of this and what has transpired this past week, if Norwood becomes Atlanta's mayor, I trust the party's leadership will reach out and press forward in such an effort. I know I will.
God Bless America; God Bless Georgia; and God Bless Atlanta and its mayor-to-be, whoever that may be.
UPDATE: See a great post by the one and only Jim Galloway of the ajc's Political Insider entitled "A Democratic gamble in the Atlanta mayor’s race."
It is another Galloway keeper. My comment on the title would be, however, when you gamble don't you at least have a chance of winning.
Even those who support the decision by the state party’s chairwoman, Jane Kidd, concede that it could risk the longtime — and mutually beneficial — relationship between the party and the city of Atlanta.