Posted: 9:00 am Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Last year’s federal shutdown looms in U.S. Senate race 

By Jim Galloway

U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn speaks to the media after she and her Republican opponent David Perdue participated in a forum sponsored by the Georgia Chamber in Macon on Thursday. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn speaks to the media after she and her Republican opponent David Perdue participated in a forum sponsored by the Georgia Chamber in Macon on Thursday. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

What you and your many, many friends thought of last October’s two-week federal government shutdown could determine the outcome of Georgia’s race for the U.S. Senate.

If enough of you thought the face-off was a drastic but legitimate tactic to rid this country of the plague of Obamacare, and to restore fiscal discipline to out-of-control spending, or if you consider such interruptions to be the new normal, Republican David Perdue wins.

On the other hand, if you and your friends remember the closing of federal facilities and the idling of hundreds of thousands of workers (never mind the national parks) as inconvenient or worse, and sweated out its impact on your 401(k), then Democrat Michelle Nunn has a chance.

Aided by national counterparts, both Perdue and Nunn began making their cases this week, nowhere more strongly than at a Thursday meeting of the two candidates at a Georgia Chamber gathering in Macon that numbered 1,100 movers and shakers.

It is an influential group that has always opposed the Affordable Care Act as a damper on business. But more and more, the Chamber has also begun to reflect the business community’s discomfort with impact of these paralyzing showdowns on a still-fragile economy.

U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue speaks to the media after he and his Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn participated in a forum sponsored by the Georgia Chamber in Macon on Thursday. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue speaks to the media after he and his Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn participated in a forum sponsored by the Georgia Chamber in Macon on Thursday. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

Which gave both Nunn and Perdue (Libertarian Amanda Swafford was not invited) something to work with.

This was their first time on the same stage, and Nunn was the aggressor throughout – surprising both Perdue and her audience. “Like you, I’ve sat through lots of business meetings and church meetings and PTA meetings, and people don’t always get along. And y’all know that,” she began. “But I’ll tell you, they keep at it. They don’t walk out. They don’t shut down. They keep going, and they solve real problems.”

The reference wasn’t just to Washington dysfunction. In the GOP primary, Perdue was opposed by the U.S. Chamber – separate from, but affiliated with, the Georgia Chamber. Perdue, a former Fortune 500 CEO, told supporters that he had walked out in a fit of temper during an endorsement interview.

Nunn wasn’t mean, but she wasn’t subtle, either.

She hit Perdue again during a discussion of military spending, noting that the 2013 federal shutdown had resulted in the furlough of 4,000 workers at nearby Robins Air Force Base.

Perdue was offered an opportunity to rebut Nunn’s point. “I think that speaks for itself. The situation we had in Washington was over Obamacare,” he said.

Having survived the Republican nomination gauntlet, Perdue has emerged as a disciplined candidate, despite his status as a rookie politician. He responded to none of Nunn’s jibes, and reserved his outrage for President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Then there was the Affordable Care Act.

“I do believe this is unfixable. I don’t think you can repair this. This goes against the very grain of our American heritage. I think we proved back in the ‘80s that a free enterprise society has a leg up over one that has a managed economy,” Perdue said. “This government — no government — has proven that it can manage this big a part of our economy.”

Perdue didn’t speak of the confrontation in Washington that would be required to repeal Obamacare – with Obama still in the White House. Not in front of the Chamber audience.

But two days earlier, at a Cobb County GOP gathering, the candidate thrilled his crowd by raising the prospect of a GOP-controlled U.S. Senate. “We will put forth an agenda that will force this president to either veto, or get in line and let’s move forward. Because the status quo is unacceptable,” he said.

It was something better left unsaid in Macon.

After the hostilities had ended, I spotted two Republicans in the back, chewing over what they had just witnessed. One had a Perdue sticker on his suit lapel, but both were worried.

Their candidate was still using the same language he had used in the Republican primary to motivate his party’s most conservative members. “We’ve had one-party rule for so long, that we’ve forgotten how to run general election campaigns,” one of the pair said.

And wasn’t it unfair for a Democratic candidate to speak of peaceful coexistence and collaboration in such a confrontational manner? they complained.

This is the crux of Georgia’s U.S. Senate race. Since 2002, Republicans have won November simply by showing up. Red meat issues have ruled. Perdue’s debate performance in Macon indicates he thinks the same dynamic will play out in 2014.

It is not a bad bet. The onus remains on Nunn, also a first-time candidate. She is a centrist candidate who, if she is to win, must construct her own political center. Georgia is that polarized.

She began the task in Macon. After her session with Perdue, she met with a scrum of reporters. Her husband, Ron Martin, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Paul Bennecke, chief political consultant for Perdue. Both were very interested in what comes next.

92 comments
StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

The Democrats have come up with two candidates to work with the President on an agenda that includes all Americans including Mitt Robme and David Perdue who loves the $29 trillion dollar wall street bailout. They will be working with the president of the United States of America that has been elected twice by the citizens of the United States of America.  There was no President McCain and there is no President Romney because we rejected them and the whole GOP ideology.  The republicans continue to obstruct and then want to run from their own obstruction by blaming the democrats because we refuse to let them undo a presidency by trying to sneak their rejected ideology through the back door of an obstructionist congress.  Now they are mad as hell because it has become obvious to all Americans what they are doing and one more time we will be rejecting their ideology in November.  

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

The Democrat Party of this once-free nation only has itself to blame for the shutdown. If those secular-progressive fools would just cuts taxe$ on the job creators, end spending on entitlements like Social Insecurity, Mediscare, Medicraid, The Dept of Miseducation and (un)Planned Parenthood, then maybe this shutdown stuff would not happen. The ones who are not compromising with common sense and what's good for the country, is the Democrat party.Amen, Bill 

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

MellieB52 I find your story hard to believe but I think I've figured out what happened. Your mom obviously has an unscrupulous doctor (probably a democrat). He got hip to you and your mom being tea partyers and he took advantage of you by lying to you, sorta like the folks you vote for.

BufordIndependent
BufordIndependent

As a small business owner (less than 20 employees) The Affordable Health Care Act has been a major boost to our company allowing me to offer far better healthcare options to my employees at far less than the "traditional group healthcare plans."  I have no idea where other "big business" makes up their numbers but for me, it's about 1/3 the cost of the cheapest "decent" plan from healthcare providers I was looking at.  The cheapest plans were completely worthless, but the decent ones that actually covered what people needed were through the roof.  


Not to mention one of my employees has a daughter with autism which of course none of the "traditional" health care providers would cover before the Act.  Now they are covering her and the entire family.    The only thing being hurt by the Act is the profits of the healthcare HMOs and those who control the traditional "group" plans.


The best thing that could happen right now is to throw out the entire congress and pulling in a congress that actually can work together to solve problems, not protect special interests.  Michelle Nunn was absolutely correct in her statement: “But I’ll tell you, they keep at it. They don’t walk out. They don’t shut down. They keep going, and they solve real problems.”


Republicans seem to forget that the President was elected overwhelmingly both times.  He has done precisely what he campaigned to do with the healthcare act.  Republicans saying they want to dismantle it goes directly against the American People whom they keep saying they represent.   Actually they represent the special interests of the healthcare lobby who need this law overturned so the rest of us can go back to either not having healthcare at all, or paying much high premiums because the fox will control the hen house.


I'm voting Nunn.

LegolasMirkwood
LegolasMirkwood

Put an honest person on the ballot.


I ain't askin' much.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Nunn is the product of a State and Washington Democratic rush to try and field a candidate with credibility and all they could come up with was a name, same as Carter. It just goes to show that the people who could bring credibility to the Party have already abandoned the Democrats leaving only the low information types along with the far left Liberals that are unelectable in this State.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

So Michelle Nunn has a husband named Ron Martin, I wonder why she insist on going by the name Michelle Nunn? Could she be trying to deceive the voters?

CanBee
CanBee

Let me attack the President, the sorry POS! Obama should be in prison! AJC does NOT let comments be accepted in all the illegal immigrants Obama just released from prison INCLUDING 169 CONVICTED MURDERS!!! Without a doubt the WORSE PRESIDENT EVER!

Johnmartindj
Johnmartindj

Instead of responding to Nunn,  Perdue Chicken uses the same tactic as Mitch McConnell. Keep attacking the President. It seems to resonate with the uninformed. The kind of people who love the affordable health care act but hate Obamacare.  It is very clear that the right wing hate machine has put a boogie man up to scare the uninformed. you end up with comments like the knucklehead who thinks Michelle Nunn is a 'hand puppet.. and will follow Obama into the fires of hell." Really? Georgia deserves better.

HANK55
HANK55

NUNN IS AN OBAMA HAND PUPPET AND WILL FOLLOW HIM INTO THE FIRES OF HELL.

DrSocrates
DrSocrates

As evidenced by the fact that a truly intelligent person was not invited to the debate (Libertarian AManda Swafford), the idiocy of Nunn and Perdue will continue to prevail in Washington.  More of the same.......... No matter who wins the election--Nunn or Perdue--the citizens of Georgia and the entire country will suffer.  

Observant1
Observant1

What a load of crap!! Nunn wants to somehow blame Perdue, who was not in Congress at the time, for the "shutdown" that wasn't a shutdown--it was a paid vacation for fat-cat Federal workers (we don't HAVE to work 'cause we got Gubmint jobs!) when everybody knows it was all George Bush's fault! :o) (No wait...that's her hero Obama's line!)  Dream on Michelle. Since you grew up in a cushy DC suburb, attended elite private schools and went to college elsewhere, what do you know about the working folks of Georgia, other than what your daddy told you?  You are the ultimate carpet-bagger, and despite all your talk about bi-partisanship, a vote for you is a vote for King Harry (the Weasel) Reid, Obamacare, a stagnant economy, and further gridlock in Washington!

Brocus
Brocus

Perdue tries to run against Obama instead of his actual opponent. Sad.

lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

When will Herman " I didn't screw that white woman" Cain, campaign for Perdue?A couple of years ago he was the black darling of the GOP. I guess Ben Carson is the GOP's new black  star now. Doesn't Perdue need Cains vast foreign policy expertise?

Point
Point

And government cost us much more shut down than operating.  Not a good thing.

Point
Point

Perdue wants to end ACA as if no one in Georgia has signed up.  

lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

Why does Perdue want a government job anyway? I thought all conservatives hated government. Yet theyre mad because they don't have the top government job. that job is held by a black man.

notagain
notagain

Blame it all on Obamacare,when we all know"Make him a one termer.Huggies galore,Hudgens galore full of same.Vote for a lady.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@Bill OrvisWhite  A lie does not care who tells it it's going to get told.  Republicans are the biggest liars on the face of the earth.

Example of compromise by democrats.....

President Obama appears poised to break one of his biggest campaign promises and agree to extend tax cuts to all Americans, not just those who make $250,000 or less, something Republicans have been demanding for months. The payback for the president: he will get an extension of unemployment benefits.  "I think it's pretty clear now taxes are not going up on anybody,in the middle of this recession. We're discussing how long we should maintain current tax rates," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said this morning on NBC's Meet the Press.  In exchange, McConnell said he could agree to an extension of jobless benefits as part of tax cut package.  "I think we will extend unemployment compensation," he said. "We've had some very vigorous debates in the Senate. Not about whether to do it but whether to pay for it as opposed to adding it to the deficit. All of those discussions are still under way."  For Democrats, giving in on taxes to get unemployment benefits extended is a tough pill to swallow..~~~~ABC News December 5, 2010. 


Not only are republicans liars you guys take Americans as hostage to get your way.  



mellieb52
mellieb52

@BufordIndependent 

SO glad you can afford this socialist plan for you & your employees. How much of that is your employees going to eat up in cost? How high are you going to raise what ever you sell to make up for the cost? Yep forgot to mention that didn't you? I lost my doctor due to Obama and so did my elderly Mother. Try getting a geriatric doctor that will take her insurance. She also had one the doctors send her letter stating that if she wanted to continue using him she would have to pay up front 1600.00 so she wouldn't have to wait. Tell me what kind of doctor does this to his elderly patients? Greed. My vote will go GOP all the way. If this state elects Carter and Nunn I would love to see what you have to say a year from now.

SamTheSham
SamTheSham

@BufordIndependent I have to agree. For the first time in decades my mother-in-law and father-in-law (both of whom are self employed) have the opportunity to have health care coverage.  I have been a life-long Republican voter, but to treat the ACA as a "baby and the bathwater" situation is insane.  There is much good in the law.  Keep what is good, and fix what isn't, but the R's are acting in a way that may cause me to vote D in November.

mellieb52
mellieb52

@Infraredguy 

She is running on Nunn bacauseof her daddy Sam Nunn. No one would know her going by her husband's name.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Infraredguy 

 So Michelle Nunn has a husband named Ron Martin...

So, Elaine Chao has a husband named Mitch McConnell....

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@Infraredguy  I guess it is her name - apparently given at birth.  What is your question?

Kamchak
Kamchak

@EdUktr 

Funny how...

Funny how EdUktionless-poo has HuffPo priapism....

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@EdUktr  8th post of these outdated polls.  You are a sorry sack EdUktr.  Accept the current truth and move on.  Stop making a fool of yourself.

Emorydawg
Emorydawg

@CanBee  There's plenty of doubt when you consider his predecessor, DUBYA. Now there is one heck of a bummer!

AtticusF
AtticusF

@Johnmartindj 

"love the affordable health care act"?

You are delusional if you think anyone who has seen that steaming pile loves it :)

"put up a boogie man"? 

dimocrats did that when they put zero in the White House :)

"scare the uninformed"?

Conservative attempts to enlighten dimocrat low-information voters will never cease :)

"Nunn follow obomba"?

She said she would "defer to his judgement".  She sure sounds like a obomba follower :)

mindguerilla
mindguerilla

@Observant1  Georgians should know that Perdue will serve corps & the wealthy & Nunn will respond to the decent, hard working, American middle class families.  The rest of you're rant is just tired, warmed over partisan attacks designed to distract from the issues that matter to Georgians.

Georgians are too smart to be fooled by that nonsense.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@Brocus  Let him run against Obama.  He demonstrates his irrelevance and lack of comprehension with each silly statement. 

Bernie31
Bernie31

@lithoniaguy - Herman's Broad Grinning Smile makes de Republicans feel all warm and Fuzzy Inside. But keep yer EYE on yer Wife and Yer Daughter whenever He is around. For de sangin Pizza Man loves to deliver his PIZZA!

Emorydawg
Emorydawg

@Point  It gave the GOP a great chance to put their stamp on their position against Obamacare which had already been awarded the GOP stamp of approval by theyr boyee CHEEF Jestice, Big John hisself Roberts.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@lithoniaguy Perrdie wants the Senate Cadillac Welfare Retirement Plan like ole Hollywood Saxyby and de rest of em who stay so long in Congress that weeds are sprouting up around their Feet. 

These Hypocrites of Democracy desire and intention is to Deny ALL Americans everything and Rape the U.S. Treasury for themselves ALONE!

They tell you they want to SERVE...Truthfully they are ONLY Serving themselves and their Friends and Family. Always have and Always Will....This is The American Way!

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@lithoniaguy He wants to run the US into the ground as he has some of his companies while escaping with a big, fat payout!

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@notagain And now he is trying to walk it back.  Liar, liar pants on fire!


Be a man and stand up and admit what you said, Ralph!

Bernie31
Bernie31

@mellieb52 @BufordIndependent - Yer need to call the Nearest Hospital to your Mother and ask for Physician Referrals for New Patients. They will provide a List of Physicians who are accepting New medicare Patients. I have you to know there are more than 25,000 plus MD's within I-285. About a third of them would welcome your Mother as a New Patient.

Next STRAW MAN!

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@kamchak, but Chao is not running for political office moron

Emorydawg
Emorydawg

@AtticusF  Bad nom de plume. Try something else if you want to approximate reality. Really bad. 

jaggar1
jaggar1

@mindguerilla @Observant1 I don't know why in the world you would ever think Nunn knows anything about work? She was raised entitled and has no clue what the working class go through. If Georgians are so smart, they would vote for neither of these two candidates, get their head straight, and look at other options.There are other people running, but Americans are so sluck on republican or democrat. How is that working out? Oh, it's not!

Emorydawg
Emorydawg

@Ralph-43 @Brocus  Exactly, Ralph-43.  Perdue missed the race against Obama by at least 2 years. HRC will be POTUS with Senator Nunn. Yahoo!


lithoniaguy
lithoniaguy

@Bernie31 



And they use religion and patriotism as a cover for their insidious lies.

Bernie31
Bernie31

@Wascatlady @notagain - Perddie is a HIT It and Quit it Man!

A Professional LOOTER! he is... Hit & Run. is the Name of His Game.

Can't stay too Long...Gotta Go! Just GIMME de CASH...All of it!

"See ya Later, BYE" is Perddie's Motto.

JAWJA
JAWJA

@Infraredguy No, Chao is lapping up the gravy from having  Mitch as a husband. Trading with China.

JAWJA
JAWJA

@mellieb52 @Ralph-43 @Infraredguy Maybe if you and your mother had kept your maiden names, you would have had better care from your doctor.  Makes as much sense as the post about  your medical insurance.