Yesterday I mentioned the gaffe committed by Georgia U.S. Senate candidate (and Republican frontrunner according to three recent polls) David Perdue, captured on video, dissing rival Karen Handel for not having a college degree, and suggesting his overseas experience made him the only candidate who could understand the “global economy.”
Handel, whose campaign has been going nowhere fast, greeted the video like manna from heaven, and was lucky enough to have world champion grievance-monger Sarah Palin (who had just given her the expected “Mama Grizzly” endorsement, as she did during Handel’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign) in-state to pile on (per a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Greg Bluestein):
The former vice presidential candidate pronounced herself “disappointed” by the David Perdue comments that came to light yesterday, and declared it a “sad day” for Republican politics. She said Ronald Reagan faced the same sort of pushback that Karen Handel now faces when he left his acting career to enter politics.
Huh? Oh well, whatever.
In any event, the Perdue video naturally led to an intensive search for other embarrassing online expressions, and someone found him (presumably, unless there’s another David Perdue in wealthy Sea Island, Georgia) leaving an appreciative message on the virtual guestbook of a very exclusive-sounding dove-hunting resort in Argentina:
The rooms, food, wine, entertainment and massages were each fantastic and really complemented the hunting. The hunting was better than anything I had heard or even imagined. It was truly unbelievable. Thanks you so much for making this the best hunting trip I ever had.
Now if this expression is legitimately his, it might create a classic Rorschach test for Georgia Republicans. Going to Argentina for “wine, entertainment and massages” is not the sort of activity your average conservative Baptist primary voter is going to like. But then again he was hunting, and in this constituency the use of firearms to kill game, like the Good Book says about love, covereth a multitude of sins. Hell, if I were Perdue’s campaign manager and this becomes a big deal, I’d call the dove-shooting trip a metaphor for what my candidate intends to do in Washington to those un-American hippie secular socialists who don’t understand the concept of Peace Through Strength.
Maybe this will all blow over, but the Perdue campaign is once again illustrating the mixed blessing of having very rich candidates with expensive tastes and disdain for the Little People who have not demonstrated their virtue by climbing to the top of the income ladder. Vacationing in Argentina, like building elevators for your cars, is not something most voters can relate to in a positive way. So word up, all you Richie Riches thinking about a conservative political career: head to Branson for relaxation, and don’t mock American Exceptionalism by suggesting there’s anything to be gained by overseas experience unless it involves shooting “terrorists” rather than birds.