It's wonderful to be an independent. Especially an independent who has so many good friends on every side of politics. As the cliche goes, some of my best friends are liberal Democrats, conservative Democrats, libertarian-leaning Republicans, super-conservative Republicans, drunkards, sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies; shoot, I've even made friends with a Communist and a New Black Panther. This means that when I talk politics, I am always guaranteed an argument, usually a polite argument since this is Savannah and not Cowpens, South Carolina. So, after girding my loins and even my non-loins, here is a fearless and likely inaccurate forecasts of some of today's primary race for governor of Georgia. The Winners will be...
Karen Handel and Roy Barnes, and it won't be close.
Yes, there might be a runoff on the Republican side, but the GOP race for Governor was over the day Sarah Palin endorsed the former Secretary of State. Some may not understand the appeal of Mrs. Palin. Some may not comprehend her use of the language or Mrs. Handel's mishandling of the Log Cabin Republican issue, but Mrs. Palin is one of the most popular people among conservatives today. That will easily carry her past any of the GOP challengers she faces in a runoff.
Eric Johnson would have had a shot had it not been for two factors, his lack of charisma and Nathan Deal, who seemingly got into the race to avoid a Congressional ethics investigation. Recent polls seem to have exposed John Oxendine, also an ethics casualty even if he turns out to be innocent. Ox lost a lot of people in this area when he arrogantly tried to take over the distribution of information after the tragic explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, telling some in the media that then-Metro Police Chief Michael Berkow "didn't know how we handle things in Georgia." After being the front-runner in a mostly boring race, Oxendine may not even make a runoff now that Mrs. Handel has Mrs. Palin's support.
Former governor Roy Barnes may be a dead ringer for Charles Durning "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas", but he will win the Democratic primary in a landslide against a slew of jibronis. No offense to General David Poythress, who seems like a nice man, but he should have known better than to be in this race against Roy. Thurbert Baker should have known better, too, especially since his entire platform appears to be a single word, Bingo. That and he needs better hair next time he decides to run.
While Barnes will be a runaway winner today, he will be hard pressed to return to the governor's mansion unless Mr. Oxendine or Mr. Deal pull off a major upset. They are beatable, even by a Democrat in a Republican year. Unless she makes a major gaffe, and not just a gaffe in the eyes of liberals but a gaffe that will resonate among independents, I don't see how Karen Handel loses in November. Sorry my liberal friends, but not being able to explain exactly why marriage is between one man and one woman is not enough. Mrs. Handel will have to screw up in a way that can be replayed a gazillion times by the Barnes campaign, because as we found out eight years ago, Barnes is not very electable on his own.
If things don't turn out this way, this entire post was written by Tim Rutherford while drunk on spicy green curry shrimp at the Noodle Bowl. No, that won't work, 'cause Tim can destroy me in one sentence flat.