Reality vs. Mara Lago
Former Senator David Perdue is going to run against Georgia’s incumbent Governor Brian Kemp. Stacy Abrams has played this nicely. Several prominent Democrats and Republicans think Abrams’ announcement at the end of last week pushed Perdue to get in now. It is what Abrams wanted. She has just successfully moved pieces on the chessboard.
Perdue getting in before the Georgia General Assembly meets in January means the Georgia GOP will tribally divide thereby delivering an impotent legislative session that deprives the GOP of any significant pre-election accomplishments. The Perdue supporters in the legislature won’t want to give Kemp anything to run on.
This past summer, David Perdue introduced Brian Kemp at the Georgia Republican convention. Last month, Perdue was asked about running and said Georgia already had a Governor and Perdue supported him. The only thing that has changed since is Perdue being drawn into the alternative universe of Mara Lago. Reality works differently there.
In the real reality, David Perdue flubbed a debate against Jon Ossoff and refused a second debate against a spectacularly unaccomplished millennial whose claim to fame was dressing up as a Star Wars character. Then Perdue lost the race to Ossoff.
Kemp has already beaten Abrams once. Perdue could not even beat Ossoff, let alone win a debate against him. If the past is the best indicator of the future, Kemp is the better bet against Abrams.
This divides the Georgia Republicans and gives Abrams clear sailing. It hurts Kemp’s fundraising and helps Abrams’ fundraising. Perdue’s entire campaign will be about Trump’s grievance over 2020 and his sales pitch will be that Kemp should have called a special election to overturn the lawful results of Georgia’s election — which, had Kemp done, would have still not stopped Biden in the Electoral College.
David Perdue is a fine man. I really do like him. But he hates the grind of campaigning and it showed this last time. He’s not good on a debate stage and it showed last time. He’s been beaten by one of the least accomplished Democrats and wants to run against the Abrams machine. Instead of being his own man, he’ll just be a tool through which Trump nurses a grudge.
The primary still favors Brian Kemp. Kemp does not have the GOP locked down. He does have problems and his team needs to recognize those problems. But Kemp does have a legislative session to try to get more done on which to run while Perdue will either have to undermine the agenda as Abrams wants or sit by and watch Kemp build accomplishments.
Abrams is the only winner in this move and it makes Abrams more likely to win even as the headwinds blow against the left. It is unfortunate. But the Mara Lago echo chamber rivals the voices in Jen Rubin’s head.