August 1st, 2019

The New Normal

I paid my tuition today! So, I’m officially on my way back. Next week, I’ll be on campus for some meetings and the following with a SPIA lunch and then classes start. One of the great things about being back at school, is that my grandson has his first day of school next week and I can talk to him about how great it is to go to school. I’ve discovered that if you are almost 6 or almost 60, you love school in that “old school” way. You can’t wait!

In the interim, I’ve written something about the new normal as epitomized by the debates of this week.

After the Democratic Debates this week and talking to Tharon Johnson, a Democratic strategist, and Susie Turnbull, the former Vice Chair of the DNC, I had to ask the question, “Is this the new normal?”

When I ran for Congress in 2012, there were 5 candidates in the race but by the time we got to qualifying, there were only 3. In 2016, there were 17 GOP candidates running for president. Today, there are at least 20 candidates running for the Democratic nomination for president. If you look across the country, you see the same trend.

This is going to sound like a contradiction, but I like primary competition. It keeps a candidate honest and makes them work for the nomination. Now that we are a state that is up for grabs, the general election is even more important and even more infrastructure has to be in place in order to go all the way to the finish line and victory. In the changing landscape of Georgia politics, Republicans and Democrats have to work hard to win the primary and then, even harder, to win the general election.  It is by no means a done deal.

But how many candidates is too many candidates?

So in this world of social media and 24 1-hour news cycles, is the new normal to have races with many candidates? I think yes. It’s easier to get in the mix and make a name for yourself because of social media and inserting yourself in the news cycle. Here’s the challenge, a person with a big social media following can result in more media attention and that gets you on the news and then, possibly, to the big stage. At least until you have to show you are raising money and are polling at 2% or better.

Next week, I’ll take a look at Marianne Williamson. She’s the mega successful author of the “Course in Miracles” books and is well known among women throughout the country. Many are vying to be the “next Donald Trump.” I don’t think that’s going to happen while President Donald Trump is still on the stage.