Tomorrow we will have the runoff special election between Jim "Did I say that out loud?" Whitehead and Paul "Sure I live in Athens" Broun, Jr. So that's what we should be talking about here on AthPo, right?
Nah. If I go and hold my nose and pull the lever for Broun tomorrow, it will only because of Whitehead's "Augusta v. Athens" comments; otherwise I may sit out my first election in years. This election isn't much of a choice, is what I'm saying.
But I'm operating under the theory that neither can do too much damage in the year or so before the election next year. By the time they get settled in and get a staff hired, they'll have to start thinking about that election. And, since it's kinda what we do here (or what used to be done here, anyway), I thought we'd go ahead and think about it now.
Question 1: Which Democrat(s) will challenge whoever wins tomorrow?
Will Marlow be back? Despite the woe-is-meism of a lot of Democrats after Marlow failed to make the runoff, I still think Marlow could make a run at it. If the state party continues to build on some of the inroads they're trying to make in the rural parts of Georgia (including of course the mountains of the Northeast that make up a lot of the 10th), and if Marlow starts early with a bona fide ground attack up there, he could make a race of it (especially if Broun is his opponent).
If not, the Dems need a true star. For example, is there any chance we'll ever see Don Johnson run for anything again? I would love it, but I don't know if it will happen.
Question 2: Should Democrats vote for Broun because he will be easier to beat in '08?
The conventional wisdom seems to be that the national Republicans will put much more money and energy behind getting Whitehead reelected than Broun.
While that makes sense to me on an intellectual level, I've got a bit of a psychological problem with "wishing" for a particular opponent. I guess it comes from watching sports playoffs; it seems like when you wish for the easier opponent, they end up beating you. They are, after all, the one that won to get there in the first place.
But then again, it does reinforce my other reason for voting for Broun.
Give your thoughts on these and other questions regarding the '08 10th race in the comments (and I guess if you must talk about the runoff, you can do that too).
[In the spirit of full disclosure, and in case it's not obvious from this post, I am (like my predecessors on AthPo for the most part) a Democrat and a liberal. I am from Athens, after all (although we're not all both of those things)].