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Daniel Malloy
Greg BluesteinJim Galloway

Republicans begin $2.5 million TV assault on Michelle Nunn

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We told you earlier this morning about Democrat Michelle Nunn’s first TV slap at Republican rival David Perdue in the U.S. Senate race.

Her theme: “David Perdue’s real world doesn’t include you.”

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogNunn is trying to get in front of – or at least mitigate – a $2.5 million air assault by the National Republican Senatorial Committee that also starts today.

A first TV spot in the GOP attack offers a mirror-image message: “She’ll be Obama’s senator, not yours.”

That’s it above.

***

By now, most of you political junkies have read of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s split with President Barack Obama on foreign policy. From the Washington Post:

In the spring, President Obama articulated a philosophy for avoiding dangerous entanglements overseas that was modest in its ambitions and focused on avoiding mistakes. Don’t do stupid things, he said.

Now Clinton is offering a blunt retort to that approach, telling an interviewer, “Great nations need organizing principles — and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

The surprisingly direct critique, coming in an interview with the Atlantic, represents Clinton’s most forceful effort yet to distance herself from an unpopular administration ahead of her expected 2016 campaign. It also foreshadows the unusual political challenges facing Clinton as she accentuates her foreign policy credentials while trying to avoid blame for the nation’s defensive posture in an increasingly unstable world.

We’d add one more point: Clinton could also be blazing a trail for Michelle Nunn to follow as the latter works to put air between herself and the White House. Remember that it was just about this time last year, when Nunn endorsed Obama’s plan to strike Syria for gassing its own civilians.

Obama reconsidered, and Nunn was left out in the cold.

***

The New York Times Magazine’s Mark Leibovich has some fun this week at the expense of the Michelle Nunn internal memo, which confirms many of his “suspicions” about campaigns. These suspicions include:

“Campaigns believe that large portions of their electorates are simple-minded idiots. …

“Candidates must drain all spontaneity, whimsy and spur-of-the-moment impulse from their personalities. The sooner they become petrified, on-message cyborgs, the better.”

***

Alas, no one in the Insider house qualifies for this casting call:

Seeking young Latina, age 18-25, who is an American citizen and eligible voter, for upcoming project. No actresses please.

The producers of a documentary project examining the role of Latinos in U.S. elections are looking for a lead character, and Jerry Gonzales, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, would very much like to see someone from here selected.

“A national documentary of the Latino vote’s importance should feature the state of Georgia because it is the capital of the new South and Latinos are integral to the new South’s future, as well as the future of our nation,” Gonzales says on his group’s website.

Gonzales is a confirmed Democrat. But the producers appear to be making an effort to remain neutral. More specifics on what their looking for:

– Must be a woman;

– Must be 18-25 years old;

– Must be Latina of Mexican descent;

– Must be a U.S. citizen;

– Must be eligible to vote in the upcoming midterm elections;

– Must have never voted in a previous election in the U.S.;

– Must live and/or study in the following states: Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California;

– Must be willing to travel within the United States;

– Should have a large family with at least 2 siblings and some extended family in the U.S.;

– Should not be registered with any political party in the U.S.;

– And should not be active or be a member of any political movement.

***

Augusta Democratic U.S. Rep. John Barrow is up with his first TV ad of the cycle, coming about a week earlier than his opening salvo two years ago.

The spot goes the time-tested route of being pro-cute animal and anti-Congress. “I wouldn’t wish Washington on a dog,” Barrow declares. He cites his own advocacy for Plant Vogtle loan guarantees, federal money to deepen the Port of Savannah and support for Fort Gordon.

Barrow also says he is “working to pass a no budget, no pay law for Congress,” based on a bill he has cosponsored for years.

Barrow voted against a watered down version of this law when it was attached to a debt ceiling hike in 2013 and applied for only one year — the only recent year in which the Senate passed a traditional budget, incidentally.

Republican businessman Rick Allen, Barrow’s foe this fall, goes unmentioned.

The National Republican Congressional Committee offered a rebuttal, via spokeswoman Katie Prill:

“John Barrow is right – he’s a career politician and is exactly what’s wrong with Washington. Finally Barrow realizes that his support of President Obama’s wasteful stimulus program is why our fiscal house is a mess and is exactly why voters need to kick him out of office this November.”

***

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Jason Carter continues to look stronger than Senate candidate Michelle Nunn — or, rather, Republican businessman David Perdue looks stronger than Gov. Nathan Deal — in public polling. The latest came Monday from Hicks Evaluation Group for the Truman National Security Project, a Washington-based organization “committed to strengthening U.S. national security.”

The auto-dial poll conducted over the weekend finds Carter at 45.4 percent and Deal at 45.3 percent. Meanwhile, Perdue holds 47.6 percent and Nunn claims 41.5 percent. The poll’s given margin of error is 3.48 percent.

The sample was 26.4 percent African-American — below the 28 percent vote share in the 2010 election. Full crosstabs here.

***

The three Gov. Nathan Deal aides who are leaving his office to hit the campaign trail won’t be getting any state benefits while with the campaign.

At least that’s according to Deal spokesman Brian Robinson, who along with chief-of-staff Chris Riley and legislative liaison David Werner are joining their boss’ re-election effort on Saturday.

Robinson said the three will go on COBRA, meaning they will get no state subsidy of their health insurance. They won’t accrue pension benefits or get any 401k benefits during the three or so months they’re on the campaign payroll, he said, and it won’t count toward their state retirement clock.

“We won’t get anything from the state,” said Robinson.

***

Over at the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Dave Williams writes about the cost of not expanding Medicaid rolls under Obamacare:

Georgia would lose $33.7 billion during the next decade by not expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to a nonprofit social and economic research organization.

The Washington, D.C-based Urban Institute released a study Monday examining the potential impacts of not expanding Medicaid in the 24 states that have opted out of the expansion since a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision on Obamacare gave states that choice.

***

Randy Evans, legal counsel to Gov. Nathan Deal’s re-election bid, took exception to our post on Deal’s Sunday trip to Las Vegas – to address the Republican National Lawyers Association and, perhaps, visit with billionaire Sheldon Adelson. From Evans’ email:

Saw your post. As the Chair of the RNLA, I noted that you omitted that the National Election Law Seminar include some of the most significant legal scholars in the United States, including Governor Deal, various attorneys general, the attorneys arguing the McCutcheon v. FEC case before the U.S. Supreme Court, the current and former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, and a host of recognized Georgians. He was among the elite scholars across the United States.

…[W]ere very proud to have Georgia’s governor speak and confirm how lawyers working together with fellow Republicans AND Democrats to reform criminal justice laws, regulations, and taxes can make Georgia the No. 1 place to do business in the United States….

So there.

***

Wonder where Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney is? Look south of the border.

Apparently the Democrat-turned-Green Party candidate is to become an online pundit for TeleSur, a state-sponsored Latin American television network that was dreamed up by the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. The folks at the Powerline blog tracked down the press release.

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