Posted: 9:49 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Pulling out the stops: Nathan Deal brings first lady into the picture 

By Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

From an email sent by the Office of the Governor, to recipients across the state.

From an email sent by the Office of the Governor, to recipients across the state.

Early this week, Gov. Nathan Deal got on the phone with more than a few nervous Republican state lawmakers and promised to pull out all the stops in the upcoming election.

Proof arrived Wednesday morning in the inboxes of laptops and smartphones across Georgia: A re-introduction to Sandra Deal, the First Lady of Georgia.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogIt wasn’t a campaign piece, but an official communication from the Office of the Governor in its weekly newsletter. (If you didn’t get one, see it here.)

And contentwise, the most controversial part of the message was a recipe for gluten-free almond cookies.

But the post-Election Day timing was an unmistakable indication that the first lady will be deployed to boost her husband’s sagging statewide approval ratings – which parallel those of President Barack Obama.

Sandra has never been far from the spotlight – she is one of the most active first ladies in state history. She’s traveled the state reading to schoolchildren in all 159 counties, headlined college commencement addresses and promoted literacy campaigns.

There’s no question that Deal’s campaign hopes she can help with women voters. One reason why: Crosstabs from last week’s Landmark Communications/WSB poll, which showed Democratic rival Jason Carter ahead of the GOP incumbent, also indicate women support Carter by a nearly 2-1 ratio.

Not coincidentally, Carter’s campaign is exploring ways to use his wife, Kate, a former journalist-turned-teacher who just stepped down at Atlanta’s Grady High School to focus on the campaign. His backers promoted a lengthy tribute filmed by her students. She’s also fronting his “Teachers for Carter” appeal to educators.

***

We don’t expect a messaging shift from state Sen. Jason Carter’s gubernatorial campaign anytime soon, but if he pivots to an anti-incumbent strategy, Gov. Nathan Deal previewed his response. And, as is becoming the norm, he takes a shot at the Democrat’s pedigree — this time, his Midtown law firm.

“I have been in elected political life for a very long time. But I think people forget, though, for 23 years I was a small-time lawyer and my practice was what I call street-level law. I didn’t practice in a multi-story building in downtown Atlanta.

“I was where the people were, people that had real problems. And I understood those. And I took that understanding with me as a state senator, and I took that understanding to Washington. That’s the kind of practical knowledge about real people and real problems that David Perdue and I share.”

***

You do not think of candidates for U.S. Senate as having running mates. But don’t be surprised if generous Democrats decide to give one to Republican David Perdue anyway. His name is Jody Hice.

On Tuesday, the pastor and radio talk show host became U.S. Rep. Paul Broun’s likely successor – winning the Republican nomination in the 10th District congressional runoff against Mike Collins. Democratic attorney Ken Dious is in the race, but the district has been hand-carved for a Republican.

The Washington Post this morning introduced Hice to its readers:

Hice, a Baptist minister and conservative radio show host, has also said the First Amendment should not cover Islam, once likened being born gay with being born violent and said it is okay for women to hold positions of power in politics, so long they are within their husband’s authority.

It’s that last one that may appeal most to the Michelle Nunn crowd, who will be looking to collar as many female voters as possible.

***

David Perdue’s runoff victory in the GOP Senate runoff surprised much of the Republican establishment. Not Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

The mayor, who has long said Democrats should focus first and foremost on the open Senate race, said he’s learned to never underestimate a Perdue. Speaking at an event heralding the Cyclorama’s move to Buckhead, Reed said Perdue stole a page from the playbook of his cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” he told reporters. “If you read the book ‘Grassroots,’ which is a book about how Gov. Perdue won – nobody that read the book “Grassroots” should have been surprised by last night’s outcome. I was not.”

***

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was perhaps a little more surprised, but it adjusted quickly.

Remember the Kingston-backing group’s attack ad calling Perdue “a little baby?” It had been taken down from YouTube by Wednesday afternoon.

Chamber political director Rob Engstrom reported that the group was “proud to endorse and stand with Jack,” and has made no decisions about the general elections.

***

Who knew that, when Perdue beat Kingston in the U.S. Senate runoff, Georgia would be bucking a trend. Again, from the Washington Post:

Despite the record levels of unpopularity of Congress, both parties are fielding members of the House as candidates in races that will probably determine control of the Senate.

Five of the most critical races feature a House member as the nominee: House Republicans are challenging Democratic Senate incumbents in Arkansas, Colorado and Louisiana, and House Democrats are trying to defend seats vacated by retiring Democratic senators in Iowa and Michigan.

***

Just in case you missed it, from our colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday filed a complaint with Attorney General Sam Olens to “take all necessary measures” to ensure the ethics commission and its director, Holly La-Berge, comply with the state’s Open Records Act.

Attorneys for the paper say specifically that LaBerge failed to comply with the act when she did not turn over a now-controversial memo to the AJC in response to a records request filed in July 2012.

***

We’re hearing concerns from Athens residents worried about the University of Georgia’s ties to Congress now that Jack Kingston is on his way out. UGA administrators, they say, often went to Kingston – and around their own representative, the arch-conservative Paul Broun – if they needed favors done.

Now, both are lame ducks and businessman Mike Collins, another potential ally, was defeated by pastor Jody Hice. Who will UGA officials turn to now? Some suspect U.S.  Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, despite his perennial survival mode. Barrow grew up in Athens — his father was a local judge, his mom a well-known politico  — and first represented the 12th District from there.

***

Speaking of Athens: A large portion of those frat parties will have to stay underground – at least for the foreseeable future, according to the Gallup Organization:

Americans continue to oppose lowering the drinking age to 18 in all states, with 25% in favor and 74% opposed. Political liberals and those with a postgraduate education are less likely to oppose a lower drinking age….

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed into law a bill that withheld a portion of federal highway funds from states that did not have a minimum drinking age of 21. A Gallup Poll conducted weeks before Reagan signed the law found Americans widely favored raising the drinking age to 21, by 79% to 18%.

***

A pro-Israel rally at the Midtown home of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta attracted a range of politicians.

Democrat Jason Carter, beefing up his pro-Israel bona fides, was there. So was newly-minted GOP Senate nominee David Perdue, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves. Attorney General Sam Olens, the highest ranking Jewish politician in Georgia, was a speaker.

 

107 comments
dcmdawg
dcmdawg

Quoting the Landmark Communication poll in an article is as bad as it gets. The same poll that showed Jack Kingston up 8 points the day before the election shows Jason Carter way ahead of Nathan Deal. Why don't you guys get a clue?

Point
Point

As she started to read to a group of students in our system, one student started chanting "Jerry, Jerry..."

I'm not being mean, that really happened.

anothercomment
anothercomment

Who forgot to wear their glasses and is calling Sandra Deal cute as a button. I don't think she has ever been cute. She just had the pedigree for a future politician to marry. 

honested
honested

By the way, were Stacy Kalberman and her staff required to move somewhere without internet access as part of the settlement?

I would like to hear more from them that the trial judge wouldn't allow.

JAWJA
JAWJA

Did Mrs Nathan bring her own chair to the photo op?  I love the little guy in the yellow shirt(top right) who slept through it all. Never realizing the importance of this political bombshell of Nathan's secret weapon.

Zwei
Zwei

“I have been in elected political life for a very long time. But I think people forget, though, for 23 years I was a small-time lawyer and my practice was what I call street-level law. I didn’t practice in a multi-story building in downtown Atlanta.

“I was where the people were, people that had real problems. And I understood those."

So now Deal thinks he's Atticus Finch. What's next, is he gonna tell that he donned a cape and cowl to prowl the streets and dish out costumed vigilante justice to evildoers?

RadicalRuralDem
RadicalRuralDem

“I was where the people were, people that had real problems. And I understood those."

So Nathan thinks people in Atlanta aren't real people with "real problems"? What a snob, with just a bit of dog-whistlin' thrown in there for good measure.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

So much for the Photo Op I told you guys by tonight Nathan Deal will throw these kids under the bus this man is a megalomaniac....

The Associated Press Thursday, July 24, 2014

ATLANTA —

Georgia's governor has sent a letter to the president saying it is "unconscionable" that the federal government didn't communicate with his office before sending unaccompanied young migrants to the state.

JAWJA
JAWJA

Nathan is taking a page from Sonny's playbook.  His second term election caught him with his hands in a lot of cookie jars; he was being asked questions he did not want to answer.  So, Sonny put Mrs Perdue out to do the campaigning for him. Sonny tended to sweat profusely, and, was not nearly as good at public speaking as his wife. It has always been a mystery to me; I've seen it many times; a smart, kind, well educated woman tied to a crook. Why they remain in the situation, and, still support the neer do well,  is against all reason. 

JacketMan
JacketMan

Well, it's a good thing the Governor's wife is running for office, too, so she can try to put policy out for out the State Legislature to consider for enactment and veto laws they try to pass she doesn't like when she disagrees with her husband, who would actually be elected as Governor, and has the real authority to do these things.

On the other hand, if she's planning on REPRESENTING the Governor (her husband) in certain events or taking on certain pet "projects" (like the United Way), then all the better she doesn't embarrass him/the Office of the Governor. HOWEVER, no politician should be elected based on whether a voter "likes" the spouse of a politician better than their opponent. THAT is ridiculous.

PoliticalOutsider
PoliticalOutsider

Press release from Sandra Deal:

"I was truly honored today to have the opportunity to read to a class of kindergarten children at the Hosea Williams Elementary School in Clayton County. I have to admit, I didn't realize we had so few white children in Clayton County. It was nothing like the kids I read to at Pace Academy up the street on West Paces Ferry Road. It gave me a first hand opportunity to see just how many illegal aliens we have flooding our school system. And how many ghetto grandmothers, as Nathan calls them, we have living off the government. It was nice to see the Immigration officials hold a round-up in my honor, so we cleared out a whole bunch of those Hispanic kids.

Reading to those little ignorant kids makes me feel like I'm doing my part to help out our education system since Nathan had to gut the system by $5 Billion while he's been Governor. I did notice several of them looked kinda sickly, but I had to tell them my husband didn't care about that because he wouldn't accept billions in federal money for expanded healthcare in Georgia. I left them with a positive message though. I told them being poor was not for sissies, and to get up of their lazy A$$ and go vote Republican."

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

So governor Deal is pretending he is Matlock?

Andy must be spinning in his grave.

honested
honested

Is anyone circulating a zoom-out view of the photo yet, showing it is in an ICE office with armed guards out in the hallway?

findog
findog

I just can not believe that the first lady of Georgia is parroting those first lady of the US lies about gluten.  They are damnable lies straight from the devil and the EPA!

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

Who cares what the clown mayor of Atlanta has to say.  Instead of running the city he was too busy knocking up his girlfrend.

SouthernDem
SouthernDem

Nathan Deal is worried. The writing is on the wall: He's gonna lose. Bringing out Grandma Moses is not going to help his ever-decreasing chances of reelection.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

She seems like a great person,  can't say the same for the Gov.

GoDotGa
GoDotGa

Looking at the comments so far the title of the article is accurate -- more people dislike Nathan Deal than Sandra Deal.

MaryPolleys
MaryPolleys

Hmmmm... so favors done by Kingston for UGA in the past would probably account for the Vince Dooley endorsement. Maybe Herschel's, too.  Figures....all at taxpayer expense of course as the national debt soars.

Kamchak
Kamchak

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/24/gop-congressional-candidate-wants-americans-to-fight-government-tyranny-with-bazookas/

A Republican congressional candidate responded to a mass shooting by suggesting that Americans had a constitutional right to own as powerful weaponry as they can afford.

“It is my belief that any, any, any, any weapon that our government and law enforcement possesses ought to be allowed for individuals to possess in this country,” said Jody Hice, a religious right activist, talk radio host, and Georgia congressional candidate.

anothercomment
anothercomment

@RadicalRuralDem  Just like David Purdue, the multi millionaire, who lives on gated Sea Island, that the rest of us can not enter.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@RadicalRuralDem he understood everyone but the "ghetto grandmothers" he told the Cherokee County GOP about. 

Zwei
Zwei

@JAWJA

I ask that same question about Herman Cain's wife.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@JAWJA Nathan Deal's wife can't help him because everytime she opens her mouth he inserts his foot. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@PoliticalOutsider You forgot to mention her psychic ability to read into their future....“My wife tells me she could look at her sixth grade class and tell ya‘ which ones are going to prison and which ones are going to college.”~~~Nathan Deal

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@finddog  I can't believe she is the first lady of Georgia considering who she married. 

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

@findog 

EPA?

Methinks you have your alphabet organizations up-mixed.

aixelsyD is a thing terrible.

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@MiltonMan  Who cares what the wanna be "city" of Milton has to say? There, fixed it for you.

honested
honested

@MiltonMan 

Hey, did you guys ever make back all the money you wasted on persecuting the sex toy store?

fez
fez

@MiltonMan So one isn't permitted to have intimate relations while holding a political office?  That's an odd stance to take...especially since most politicians specialize in screwing (over) their constituents.

GoDotGa
GoDotGa

Mary, the favors game will continue just under a different name. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

MoFaux
MoFaux

@Kamchak I saw the Koch brothers window shopping for an ICBM the other day.

Charles50
Charles50

@Kamchak When I saw that he had won the other night I thought, OMG another nut replacing Paul Broun.  And I think he's crazier too.  

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Kamchak religion and politics don't mix it produces whacko's like Jody Hice and Michelle Bachmann that is why this one has to be diffussed at the poll by keeping him in the minority.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Lookbeforelleap What the hell is wrong with this man?  He used the kids just like I said then he called ICE.

findog
findog

@LookbeforeIleap @findog gluten and healthy lunches are the same lies as global warming.  If an Obama is for it is bad, real bad; thats the real deal

LookbeforeIleap
LookbeforeIleap

@fez 

Conception before marriage he approves not.

Strong is the dark side of the force with this one, heh.

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

@Charles50 @Kamchak  I tried to move just so that I could vote against this jihadist, but alas my IQ was too high to get into the district.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@findog 

 ...gluten and healthy lunches are the same lies as global warming.

InfoWars much?

NWGAL
NWGAL

Apparently there is no bottom to the crazy pit.