Archive for May 24, 2010

Just got back from meeting with Jennifer Parker of the CrossRoads News.

I have to thank her for her time, I arrived uninvited and unexpected yet she made some time to speak me despite the two surprises, the first being my visit and the second being my interest in Ga-4.

Cross Roads News in Ga-4

Her small paper has been here for 15 years and she has seen a lot of things happen but there have been some surprises.

In 2008 she was surprised that Hank Johnson had run unopposed, this had not happened in her memory in the district. (As a Massachusetts republican I envy that). We both agreed that unopposed elections are a bad idea.

She like everyone who I’ve talked to cited the Economy as issue one. There has been slight improvement over the last month but its been an unpleasant surprise at how long things have been so bad.

She keeps the Holy Grail of Journalism the 1st Ammendment on her shelf

Speaking of surprises another surprise is the number of Republicans running for the nomination. Usually a republican runs and is soundly defeated, she is surprised that so many people are vying for the right to have that experience. She mentioned the possibility of the tea parties encouraging people to run. As a person who hosted thefirst candidates’ forum she had met with the candidates but thought none of them would be able to win in a district where President Obama drew his highest percentage of victory even higher than his home district.

She also doesn’t think that either of the democrats running against Mr. Johnson will be able to unseat him, she described it as highly unlikely.

It was an interesting conversation on a district she has covered for years but much more interesting than her take on the district is her paper itself The CrossRoads news. She opened this paper as the internet age was growing and has kept it afloat all these years through boom times and hard times. She works very hard and has made some very tough decisions to keep the paper going. She is an extraordinary woman.

…first of all don’t do it next door to the house of a reporter.

…second of all don’t involve police, (the police union denies it).

…and finally don’t do it in the internet age because you can’t hide or disguise a crowd of people acting likethugs from the net anymore. Nor can you hide bank records.

If you want to know why Unions are not popular like they used to be, here it is.

This morning I spent a couple of hours in Mamie’s kitchen in Lithonia Ga talking to the various patrons and eating some breakfast.

Breakfast at Mamie's Kitchen

If there is one thing that being here in Georgia is going to do, it’s going to spoil me when it comes to Bacon, only the slab Bacon at Romano’s compares to what I’ve gotten here (I’d take Romano’s sausage but that’s fresh made and Italian. All sausage is local?) the breakfast was first rate and the people were pretty friendly especially considering that I was an outsider disturbing them during breakfast.

A steady line both at the counter and the drive through window

I talked to several people at Mamie’s of all different jobs, Truck Driver, landscaper, student and the CEO of a company that employs 150 people. Almost all of the people I talked to were transplants and the basic things I found was this:

  • Very few people seem to be following the race closely at this time.
  • There is an inordinate amount of transplanted people in this area (Lithonia).
  • There are two reason people come to GA in general and Ga-4 in particular Quality of Life (So far the food really backs that up) and Jobs.
  • Among the black community it is going to be very tough for a republican to draw votes.

From talking to the people, how they think and the way they live, this should not be so, particularly if you have a conservative values republican. Such a candidate should fit like a glove. This is a question I will need to explore deeper while I’m here.

One final thing that all the people I met had in common. I liked them. They are good people and I think every one of them would be a neighbor I’d like living on my street.

I’ve talked a bit about Rand Paul and the education he is getting now that he is the republican candidate for Senate instead of a Republican gadfly. It is an education that I was surprised he needed to get (although in fairness Mr. Dukakis Paul did make his own problems) but he is learning fast.

With the defeat of Bob Bennett we are now seeing the other side of the coin as the excellent Jay Nordlinger reminds us:

You know Sen. Bob Bennett, the Utah Republican who has been pushed aside by more sparky conservatives? You know all the good press — good liberal press — that Bennett is getting now? About how sensible and decent and patriotic he is? Such an admirable legislator? Do you remember Bennett’s ever getting such press, before he was upended by his fellow conservatives in Utah?

I don’t either.

Of course he doesn’t, as long as Bob Bennett allows the media to paint the tea parties and republicans as unreasonable ideologues he will be lionized by the press. If he had won the nomination he would just be another evil republican and worth ignoring.

Watch him become a regular commentator/guest any time the networks want to attack the tea parties.