National political writers are coming around to sharing my obsession with Georgia’s Senate race, which is truly getting interesting. MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin has the best overall analysis of the Republican primary contest that I’ve seen up until this point. He gets particular kudos for noting the irony of Karen Handel (whose surprisingly low standing seems to be the only thing on which the pollsters currently agree) becoming a national antichoice icon immediately after she lost a gubernatorial nomination for insufficient RTL zealotry. He also observes that Handel is suffering from losing access to the financial network of one-time patron and former Gov. Sonny Perdue, who is backing his cousin David, the out-of-nowhere “outsider businessman” candidate who is flooding the airwaves with ads crafted by legendary media whiz Fred Davis.
Speaking of David Perdue, Slate‘s Dave Weigel also has a new post up on the GA primary, wherein he describes the Dollar General boss as the “anti-Akin,” a candidate designed to ensure that rhetorical flamethrowers like Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey don’t define the GOP in 2014. Best I can tell, Perdue is pretty much as right-wing as the rest of the field, but you wouldn’t know it from his ads, which are Romneyesque.
What happens in GA has national implications, beyond the fact that it’s one of just two states where Republicans could plausibly lose a seat. Here’s how Weigel puts it:
If the story of 2014 is not Tea Party upsets—if, like Cornyn did and McConnell is about to do, Perdue flicks away candidates who scramble to the right—Democrats will have lost a chance to make another race about the gaffes of the Republican. The primary is in two months, and the runoff is two months later. Who’s in better shape for that—the rich guy or one of the battered right-wingers?
Like I keep saying, it’s Crazy Versus Money.