Jeff Emanuel

Georgia’s Republican Governor, Sonny Perdue, and his opponent, Democrat Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor, have taken to the airwaves as the November gubernatorial election approaches. Both have gone on the offensive, with Taylor questioning Perdue’s cheap land buy in Florida – and personal, back-dated $100,000 tax deferment – and the Governor’s campaign hitting back at the fact that Taylor has “never had to work an honest day in his life,” as he has been continuously bankrolled (including allowance) by his father since reaching adulthood.

The Georgia Republican Party is, naturally, the driving force behind the Perdue campaign; in a midterm election year, with an incumbent Governor (the first from the GOP since Reconstruction), this race is the party’s top priority. However, with the funds the state party – and, by extension, the Perdue campaign – have available, the product thus far has been less than desirable, and is in need of improvement in the final two weeks of the season.

Both ineffective and contradictory, Perdue’s advertisements thus far convey no realistic achievements, proposals, or ideas, other than to set himself up as an everyman who represents the people, and who is at risk of being slandered by his opponent. Perdue has one ad which bemoans the idea that his opponent would consider running negative ads against him – a message which lost any force behind it when Perdue began running just the type of advertisement he decried in his own.

Mary Perdue’s appearances in advertisements, should have been effective, as the Perdues’ 35-year marriage stands in sharp contrast to Taylor’s three marriages and current trophy wife; however, the couple’s ads wore out their welcome all to quickly, largely due to their weakly-staged conversations about poorly cited initiatives which, if effective, would have been welcome during Perdue’s four previous years in office, had he gone to the correct people for policy proposals at the time.

The Governor’s campaign must improve its efforts, as well as its mindset, if he is to succeed in his bid for reelection. In a year when turnout is expected to be remarkably low (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that turnout as low as 30% would not be surprising), candidates must motivate constituents, and provide compelling reasons for them to vote.

Jeff Emanuel

Jeff Emanuel, a Special Operations military veteran, is a Leadership fellow with the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia, where he also studies Classics. In addition, he is a contributing editor for conservative web log, and is a columnist for the Athens, GA Banner-Herald newspaper.

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