October 18, 2012
ROLL CALL: List of House Goners Not What We Expected. “It is three weeks before Election Day and a handful of incumbents are already seeing the writing on the wall. They won’t be coming back to Congress. It’s time to look for other gainful employment or merely enjoy the quiet pleasures of forced retirement.”
UPDATE: A reader emails:
Please don’t use my name if you print this, since I know some of the people involved and I work here in DC.
Regarding the article from Roll Call you linked to about surprising house races I found one statement by Stuart Rothenberg (who I have worked with in the past) particularly offensive. Specifically in regards to the race between John Barrow (D-GA) who I know and personally like and State Sen. Lee Anderson (R) who I don’t know but who I probably would like as well, Rothenberg says this:
While I haven’t met Anderson, those who have and whose opinions I respect are not impressed.
The farmer turned state legislator, who attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Brewton-Parker College, isn’t regarded as a strong speaker or debater.
How does he describe John Barrow?
First elected in 2004, Barrow is an attorney who attended the University of Georgia and Harvard Law School. He knocked off GOP incumbent Max Burns to win the seat.
So Rothenberg’s opinion (remember, this is the guy who predicted the Republicans’ chance of winning the house n 2009 to be “exactly zero”) is based on two facts: 1) He’s heard Anderson is not a strong speaker or debater. 2) Anderson is “wink wink” an idiot compared to the much more impressively educated Barrow.
Now, point 1 may in fact be a legitimate issue. I don’t know. Its the first I heard of it (but I haven’t been paying attention). But it strikes me that while having attended UGA certainly helps in Georgia, most voters in the incredibly rural and heavily agriculturally focused district (its basically the swamps, pine trees, cotton and chickens) won’t view the Republican as somehow inferior because he went to both a state school that happens to be the primary Ag “trade”school for rural Georgians (where I a large plurality of those same agriculturally employed constitutes probably have received some training) and a Baptist Bible College compared to a guy who left the state and went all the way up to Harvard in Massachusetts (where the Kennedys and the Kerry’s and all those damn liberal New England Yankees are from).
I have to say, “While I haven’t met Anderson, those who have and whose opinions I respect are not impressed,” isn’t what we call top-notch reporting. . . .