Matt Towery

Let's get one thing straight. Last week, our polling firm, InsiderAdvantage, released a poll for the Southern Political Report and this syndicated column that showed Barack Obama and John McCain tied in Georgia.

The news from this generally Republican state triggered quite an uproar, and I'm sure the poll won no praise from the John McCain camp.

The combination of a high African-American population, many young voters, plus the presence of former Georgia Republican Congressman Bob Barr's name on the ballot as the Libertarian candidate all were contributing factors in the Georgia surprise.

I'm not taking sides in the presidential race. My job is to call things as I see them. That's what leads me to some comments on the current attacks on one of McCain's top advisers, Charlie Black.

Black recently gave an interview in which he stated the obvious -- that should America suffer another terrorist attack, it would be "a big advantage" to the McCain campaign.

Immediately, pundits and opponents called for Black's head on a platter. They continue to push for his resignation, even after Black apologized for the remark.

Now let's be honest here. Just as I unabashedly believe that our poll about Georgia being a new "battleground state" is correct -- as did the panel on NBC's "Meet The Press" last week -- I also believe this Charlie Black issue is nonsense.

Black did not say he wanted another attack on America. Moreover, he was repeating a campaign strategy concept that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton acknowledged in a debate during the battle for the Democratic nomination.

Black is a strategist, and he was giving a political strategist's opinion. Was it wise? Perhaps not. Was it something that requires resignation? Give me a break.

Now organizations are alleging that Black has lobbying ties as well. That's another joke. There is hardly anyone who has been around politics who hasn't directly or indirectly been involved in advocacy for clients. It's how they manage to feed their families.

What is really going on here is a shrewd effort by the supporters of Barack Obama to try to drive away the most seasoned veteran in the McCain organization.

Charlie Black knows more about presidential politics than 99 percent of the pundits and operatives in the political world of 2008.

For Republicans who hunger for the Reagan years, they get it in Black, who worked with the "Great Communicator" himself. Those who wish that George W. Bush's years had turned out more like his father's can also look to Black, who was there with President Bush "41."

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery