Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue remain in a statistical tie in Georgia’s nailbiter Senate race. Nunn leads slightly, banking mostly on the fact that she is the daughter of longtime Sen. Sam Nunn, a hawkish conservative Democrat who would be drummed out of today’s Democratic Party by its hard left netroots activists.
The Republicans need to pick up six Senate seats to take control of the Senate. Georgia’s race could therefore determine control.
Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill, Democrat, was famous for saying that “all politics is local,” meaning that whatever is going on nationally, good or bad for a particular party, a good candidate who pays attention to issues in their state or district and connects with the voters there can win. Even if their president is an unpopular incompetent, like Barack Obama. That’s among the reasons that Democrats like Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky are trying to run as far away from Obama as possible.
In a time when a candidate’s party leader/president is widely seen as a failure by the majority, and is unpopular and pushes unpopular policies, and in a state in which Democrats have mostly fallen apart over the past few years, O’Neill’s “All politics is local” ought to be the candidate’s and the party’s mantra. Keep the unpopular president out of it and you have a chance of winning.
But what if the unpopular president is also an egomaniac who thinks and says that literally every race in the country is really about him?
Obama did that a month before the mid-terms, when he reminded everyone that all of his policies — unpopular as they are — are on the ballot, with Democrats attached to them.
And now he has done it again, specifically to Michelle Nunn in Georgia. The president appeared on V-103 radio and reminded Georgia voters that a vote for Nunn is really a vote for both Barack Obama and Harry Reid.
“Michelle Nunn will win the Senate if there is high turnout among Democrats,” Obama said. “And if there is low turnout or just ordinary turnout, then she won’t win. And if Michelle Nunn wins, that means that Democrats keep control of the Senate, and that means that we can keep on doing some good work.”
That “good work” includes passing Obamacare, and then the Senate stifling every effort to repeal Obamacare, among other unpopular legislative atrocities. It includes Obama using the Democrat-controlled Senate to ram through more radical court nominees, and the Senate failing to serve as any kind of check on his abuses of power.
We’re less than two weeks away from the election now. The bolded sentence above is likely to appear in Perdue’s ads in the home stretch, and should help him eke out a win. Perdue might consider thanking the president for his gaffes in his victory speech.
Or, are they gaffes at all? The president’s comments are obviously about rallying the Democrat base. But there is a school of thought in which Obama wants Democrats to lose the Senate, so that he can provoke disputes with the GOP-controlled Congress for the last two years of his presidency. Community organizers such as Obama thrive on division and conflict. Unity and peace deprive them of leverage. Obama might use two years of conflict to race-bait, engineer constitutional crises, and inflame the Democrat base going into the 2016 elections. If that school of thought is right, then Obama’s recent comments that nationalize the election have a Machiavellian twist.