James July-Aug 2021 web - Flipbook - Page 46
JULY /AU GU ST 2021
That brings me back to those appointments that a
Georgia governor gets to make. Since he entered office
Kemp’s team (the members have changed but the thinking has not) have sought to win the elusive and mythical
suburban moderate voter. Their appointments, other than
being a little heavy on the Athens hometown reliance (all
governors do that home stuff), have been one big effort at
showing outreach to various demographics and in particular African-Americans.
Those efforts are laudable but who has been excluded
by taking that path? Plenty of movers and shakers who
raised Kemp money and hustled up votes last time. If you
think they have not noticed, they have. Yes, many are giving again, but behind the scenes they are unenthusiastic.
Their lack of enthusiasm touches every employee, country
club member and civic group roster they know.
But what about Kemp’s outreach to semi-“woke”
suburban voters? What about that effort to reach AfricanAmerican or other “voters of color” through these nifty
appointments? Ha! That will be a vote total you can count
in a phone booth, if one still exists in the state. Between
the number the media (both local and national) will do
How much “plus” to add to the base?
trust the media and, after voting for Trump twice, have
made it clear that personal lives don’t matter to them.
If Jones were to get Trump’s true endorsement early
enough, he could conceivably raise substantial funds,
fight off the attack ads Kemp’s PAC will hurl at him, and
either take Kemp down to the wire or outright defeat
him. Jones may seem slicker than owls, but he
is a strong orator and can keep up with the
The Vernon Jones GOP candidacy
best of them.
The only name that has entered the
My guess is that Team Trump will
May 2022 GOP gubernatorial primary,
continue to hope for a more acceptas this is written, is former DeKalb
able alternative and, if none appears,
County CEO Vernon Jones. The
they will give something shy of an
Atlanta political media have written
endorsement. That would leave
Jones off and most political insiders
Jones to drown in a sea of attack ads
feel that Jones is an unserious candiwith no money to answer them. So,
date who should be shuffled off to do
absent an outright and early Trump
“My Pillow” ads or something like that.
endorsement for Jones, Kemp makes it
They are wrong.
a m to the November general election with a
If Jones remains the only “name” in
a b r
little less than 66 percent of the GOP vote.
the contest for the nomination against Kemp,
That leaves Kemp with his “base plus”
he will likely get Trump’s endorsement or at the very
strategy facing, in all likelihood, Democrat Stacey
least a watered down “non-endorsement endorsement.”
Abrams. Now it probably seems logical that given the
Lurid stories and hit pieces are the stuff that influencalternative of Abrams— who is becoming an iconic
es insider politicos and journalists, but the “base” in Georsymbol of liberalism and the Democratic National Comgia could not care less about that stuff. They truly don’t
mittee— that the remaining part of the base will come
home to the GOP. The answer is that most of them will—
but not, as of now, enough.
loyal to Donald Trump were to enter the race, Kemp
would become a prohibitive underdog. That’s because
such a candidate would have Trump’s endorsement.
And Kemp knows what impact a Trump endorsement
has in a Georgia GOP primary. But as this is written, that
is not the case.
t r u
on Kemp and the pull Abrams will have among minority
voters, there will be very little “plus” to add to that base.
The Kemp campaign and the other statewide Republicans who have bought into this idiotic strategy have about
a year to get their act together. There are issues that can
unite various demographics and actually fire up a base. For
example, the rampant crime, not just in Atlanta but spreading to other parts of the state, impacts all voters.
The D onald Tru mp electoral factor
Why do you think Trump received more African-American and Hispanic votes than any Republican
presidential candidate, indeed any statewide Republican
candidate, ever in Georgia? It is because Trump took on
issues in a forceful manner. He didn’t let chaos take place
right down the street from him without endless comment
and efforts to control it. I don’t know how many times
I’ve read about Atlanta’s raging and now internationally
notorious crime spike on Facebook pages peppered with
“Where is Brian Kemp on this problem.” That goes for
other relevant statewide officials.
Between crime, “wokeness,” coming inflation and
increased taxes you would think Kemp could get fired up,
start taking very bold action, and maybe even win over, or
at least keep quiet, a certain DJT.
As of today, Abrams would have the edge over Kemp
in November 2022 as Kemp’s “base plus” strategy melts
like a snow cone in July.
But it’s not too late.
Kemp’s team needs to recognize that midterm elections are all about turning out your own base, not adding
to it. If they start now to get their act together, they not
only could reward and excite that base but might, just
might, even impress a man who currently calls Kemp “the
worst Republican governor in America.”
And if his tune changes, Governor Brian Kemp gets
four more years.
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