Political Animal


November 19, 2013 4:23 PM More Georgia GOP Follies

By Ed Kilgore

The CW among Republicans down here in GA is that whoever they nominate will win Saxby Chambliss’ Senate seat next year, even against the strongest candidate Democrats could have reasonably hoped for, Michelle Nunn (disclaimer: Michelle’s an old friend, and the daughter of my former boss, Sam Nunn).

But they do seem determined to test that hypothesis.

The latest snafu involving the large and zany GOP field hit the front-runner in every public poll so far, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey. Here’s the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jim Galloway on today’s developments in Gingrey-land:

The Phil Gingrey’s campaign for U.S. Senate took a blow on Monday, as four top staffers resigned.
General consultant Chip Lake, who once served as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, confirmed his departure via email….
The departure comes only a week after he became the first GOP candidate in the Senate contest to launch a TV ad, in which he promised to repeal Obamacare in his first term or “go home….”
We understand this was, in part, the result of a leadership struggle within the campaign. The Gingrey campaign has been marred by gaffes from the candidate — the latest when the congressman’s complaints on the issue of health care coverage for congressional staffers, made during a private House GOP caucus meeting, were leaked.
Congressional aides had the option of leaving to become high-paid lobbyists, Gingrey said. “Meanwhile I’m stuck here making $172,000 a year.”

Maybe Team Gingrey will recover, but when well-regarded professional consultants leave a campaign en masse, it’s generally not a good sign, particularly if you’re a nervous donor.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


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