Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

David Perdue and ‘ugly American eyes’

If you’re David Perdue, the first-time GOP candidate and well-traveled business executive running for U.S. Senate, you have to be wondering if politics has its own, very separate language – something wholly apart from English.

In yet another, recent interview with the editorial board of the Macon Telegraph, Perdue is in the middle of a bull session on world economics, when the topic of China comes up. The newspaper has kindly posted the sound.

Perdue: “This is a culture that thinks thousands of years [ahead]. Guanxi is a term over there. It’s called relationship, friendship. This isn’t like you and I just met and we go to dinner, we’re friends. They’re talking about families, generations, centuries. I’ve had that rice paddy, you’ve had that rice paddy, my grandfather – that’s guanxi.

“When they talk about friendship, that’s what they mean. The answer is, of course, we’ve been naïve. We see the world through the ugly American eyes – and that is, the world revolves around New York City or Washington D.C."

Unidentified interviewer: “We’re arrogant teenagers.”


Perdue: “Absolutely. And you know what? The rest of the world gets it. My friends in India, right now – I spent a lot of time in India – my friends in India, my age, are really, really angry. And they’re angry because they feel they’re subsidizing our artificially high standard of living. They can’t borrow a third of what they’re spending. But we get away with it, because we’re the dollar – we’re the $16 trillion-a-year economy….”

And so the campaign of GOP rival Jack Kingston, using former candidate Karen Handel as its bulldog, pounced. From the press release:

“David Perdue just can’t seem to keep his arrogance in check,” said Handel. “First, he belittles Georgians who don’t have a four-year college degree and haven’t lived overseas. Then, he patronizes the grassroots core of the GOP. Now, he’s insulting Americans in general.”

But politics wouldn’t be politics if there wasn’t a comparison to that fellow in the White House. Continues Handel:

“David’s comments remind me of Michelle Obama’s absurd statement made after her husband’s election that it was the first time in her adult life that she felt proud to be an American….”

Like we said – a different language.


The AJC's James Salzer reports that the lawyer appointed by the Georgia Supreme Court to investigate charges that House Speaker David Ralston did wrong by a private client has made campaign contributions to Ralston:

The court chose Mark F. Dehler of Hiawassee. Dehler is a longtime attorney married to Cathy Cox, a former Democratic secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate who is now president of Young Harris College.

Records show Dehler contributed $500 to Ralston’s re-election campaign in 2010, and Cox contributed $250 in 2013.


If Democrat Jason Carter feels like he’s got a two-ton weight on his chest, we think we’ve found the cause: The Republican Governors Association reports that it has spent $1.5 million in support of incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal. Most of the cash has been spent on the purchase of TV time.

RGA Georgia 2014 PAC reports having only $13,876.93 on hand. Not that this particular bucket has a bottom.


The Georgia Republican Party chastised Democrats for trying to poke holes in the CNBC rankings that put Georgia as the top state to do business, with chairman John Padgett calling Democratic partisans "desperate."

The GOP also linked to a passionate defense by talk show host Erick Erickson, who compared the tactic to the strategy employed by Democrats a decade ago in challenging President George W. Bush. Said Erickson:

"This is what the Democrats did in 2004 and it didn't work against George W. Bush. Every glimmer of hope economically, they attacked. Every sign of progress in Iraq, they attacked. Everything they did, they attacked."

Hmmm. This is an interesting strategy. You have to wonder if Republicans might consider using it against the current president.


The Real Deal vs. The Deal - Real. Gov. Nathan Deal received a notable visitor after throwing out the first pitch at last night's Braves game.

No word on whether a trademark lawsuit is soon to come. But we hear the governor got an earful.


The Georgia Department of Public Health reminds us of another important law that took effect with the first of July. The sale or distribution of electronic cigarettes to anyone under 18 is now illegal. 

It comes amid a spike of potentially dangerous exposures to e-cigarette emissions, which contain chemicals that include formaldehyde. The department said in 2011, it received five calls involving e-cigs. In the last six months, it received 46.


The Jackson, Miss., Clarion-Ledger reports that U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran is denying reports from a conservative blogger that his campaign bought votes in his runoff against tea-partyer Chris McDaniel:

Blogger Charles C. Johnson of GotNews.com is reporting that Stevie Fielder says the Cochran campaign told him to offer black voters in the Meridian area $15 each to vote for Cochran in the June 24 GOP primary runoff against state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

Cochran campaign spokesman Jordan Russell called the accusations of illegal vote buying "baseless and false."

"It comes from a blogger who in the last 24 hours has accused a Mississippi public official of being responsible for an individual's death and had to retract other outlandish accusations regarding another Mississippi elected official," Russell said. "The author of this article admits he paid his source for the story."


The surge in Central American child migrants is creating tensions in California. The Los Angeles Times reports:

Amid rising concern over a surge of young immigrants crossing the border illegally, flag-waving protesters blocked three busloads of detainees in Riverside County on Tuesday, preventing them from reaching a Border Patrol processing station in Murrieta.

The buses, carrying about 140 detainees, turned around and headed back to a San Diego-area Border Patrol facility.

Police said about 100 to 150 people met the buses a few blocks away from the Border Patrol station, chanting "Go home" and "We want to be safe." ...

Though the day had been tense and loud, the protests were nonviolent.


 Given Georgia’s new concealed-carry law, we’re going to be talking about guns for the next few days. So this piece by Ezra Klein of Vox on the very real shortage of ammunition is worth your time. It’s not so much a matter of demand, Klein says, as of supply:

Clearly, there's demand for more bullets. So why haven't manufacturers expanded to meet that demand? Leaving aside conspiracy theories about massive DHS bullet purchases (which even pro-gun Breitbart.com found to be untrue), the answer seems to be that manufacturers know it's not just new interest in sport-shooting that's driving the ammo-buying. The gun industry has acknowledged that politics drive gun-buying.

Knowing that, manufacturers are reluctant to invest in lots of expensive new facilities when they're afraid the political mania could vanish at any moment. But as Guns and Ammo reported last year, America's ammunition manufacturers have been operating at or near capacity for a decade, and reluctant to boost that capacity. And that capacity is finally starting to creep upward — Remington finally last year broke ground on a new ammunition plant in Arkansas.


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