The grandson of former president Jimmy Carter wants to run for the White House himself, says Georgia governor Nathan Deal. Jason Carter, a young Democratic state senator from Decatur, is challenging the Republican Deal in a close race. Speaking at a rally in Dahlonega, the 72-year-old Deal told the crowd that his Democratic opponent wants to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.
“I’m not going to use this office as a stepping stone,” Deal told a crowd of about 75 in downtown Dahlonega. “You can believe he will be looking to run for president. Don’t give him a stepping stone or a springboard for higher office.”
The Atlanta state senator, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, is trying to follow in his grandpa’s footsteps from the Senate chamber to the governor’s mansion. He has said nothing about higher ambitions.
Deal has been making this argument for some time, according to Georgia Republicans. At a recent fundraising dinner, the incumbent governor pitched himself as the "roadblock" to the younger Carter:
But the positive campaign hasn’t quite done the job of securing his reelection. That explains a different tone from the 72-year-old at a private fundraiser in LaGrange, an hour southwest of Atlanta. “I am the roadblock,” he declared.
The roadblock, that is, to Democrat Jason Carter, grandson of the former president and Georgia governor Jimmy. At 39 years old, with just four years in the state senate, Carter petit-fils is challenging Deal for governor and making a good run of it, too. Polls have consistently shown Deal with less than 50 percent support, and more than a few have him losing to Carter. As recently as September, one poll had Carter with a 3-point lead, winning independents and even a tenth of Republicans. The specter of a Carter dynasty—Jason is the first elected official in the family since Jimmy left the White House—is the kind of thing that keeps Georgia Republicans up at night.
The oldest and most durable of all Washington handouts is the agricultural subsidy. Without it, of course, farm families would be forced off the land, food prices would rise, and all manner of woe would be the nation's lot.
I've been wary of comparisons of this year's presidential race with that of 1980. I'd love it if the comparison holds, but have been worried 1) that the conditions aren't the same as in 1980 in all kinds of ways, and 2) that over-confidence the race will inevitably break to Romney at the end, as the 1980 race did to Reagan, could lead to complacency on the right rather than a sense of urgency, including a sense of urgency in pushing the Romney campaign to improve.
When Republican strategists like Karl Rove cite 1980 as a model for this year’s election, they usually have in mind two main elements: Ronald Reagan’s question in the late October presidential debate about whether voters felt better off than four years earlier, when they elected Jimmy Carter, and Reagan’s ability in that debate to reassure swing voters about his ability to serve successfully if elected, converting a very close race into a ten-point blowout by “closing the deal.”
President Obama is outside the ideological mainstream, viewed as very liberal by an electorate that’s moderate or somewhat conservative. His domestic policies are unpopular, notably his health care law, economic stimulus, and spending plans. His foreign policy initiatives—curbing Iran’s nuclear weapons program, improving America’s position in the Middle East, fostering better relations with Russia—have failed. The public wants Obama to jettison his ineffective economic policies and implement new ones. But he refuses.