Michelle Nunn is widely viewed as the Democrats’ best hope to take a U.S. Senate seat from Republican hands. Polls show a tight race with GOP businessman David Perdue, and Democrats nationwide have their fingers crossed that a Nunn win can save their Senate majority. The successful recruitment of Nunn was a coup for Georgia Democrats, and their investment in her campaign may indeed pay off. Perdue has to be considered the favorite, but Nunn has a real shot.
That’s enough even-handed analysis.
Michelle Nunn is awful.
She may be the most boring, uninspiring candidate in the history of American politics. She makes Alf Landon look like Julius Caesar. Hubert Humphrey would be embarrassed by her awkwardness. Her inane platitudes would make Tim Pawlenty cringe. Her schoolmarm countenance is such that she must import charisma from Bill Clinton and Usher.
Nunn represents the most striking example to date of the worst genre of American politico — the Lame Southern Democrat. These clowns of the Sunbelt are united by a platform of insipid boilerplate and characterized by goofy faux-wonkishness. Joining Nunn in this category are the eminently forgettable Jason Carter (whose grandfather all but founded this ignominious brotherhood) and South Carolina’s least favorite trial lawyer man-child, Vincent Sheheen. (The two could be cousins. See below.)
Distinguished alumni of the Lame Southern Democrat fraternity include one-term South Carolina governor and Elmer Fudd doppelganger Jim Hovis Hodges, human-weasel hybrid John Barrow of Athens/Savannah/Augusta, and North Carolina’s accidental senator, Kay Hagan. They look like the kind of people who dab the grease off their pizza with a wad of napkins.
Why are Southern Democrats so darn lame? I’m not sure, but I think it has to do with a belief that to win in the South, a Democratic candidate — particularly a statewide candidate — must closely resemble a white bread and bologna sandwich, sans crust. Part of this is based on an identity politics understanding that believes that, because most Southern Democrats are African-American, the top of the Democratic ticket must be as pale as a ghost in winter. You know, so as not to scare the white folks away. To some extent this makes sense: in a racially divided partisan setup, the majority-minority party needs to attract enough white votes to win a majority, and that means appealing to moderate whites first and foremost. But are these milquetoast opportunists really the best they can do?
Maybe I should be careful what I wish for — it could be worse. The South could have real Democrats like Chuck Schumer or actual
Sandinistas progressives like Bill DeBlasio. Regardless, the fact remains that Democrats in the South are nominating candidates who appear to be vying for the title of Leading Cure for Insomnia.
Into this lineup of unlovable losers steps Nunn, straight from central casting. Previously the leader of Bush 41’s Points of Light Foundation, Nunn’s career has been remarkable mainly for its broad but shallow appeal, and she has steadily collected accolades from all the Important People. She’s likable in the same way oatmeal is likable. You check other options first, but settling for oatmeal is an adequate breakfast option. Her platform is a fearless defense of preschool education, investment in public schooling, and infrastructure maintenance. It’s the Lame Southern Democrat Greatest Hits Album.
But the pièce de résistance of Nunn’s comical inanity is the large folder of campaign memos accidentally leaked to the public earlier this summer. In case anyone doubts that the entire Michelle Nunn campaign is an attempt by expert bartenders to craft the perfect cocktail of pathetic boredom, these documents set the record straight. The definitive breakdown of the mess is over at National Review. Some highlights include an exhortation to take into account the wealth of Georgia’s Jewish population when deciding on an Israel position, and the stated fear that voters won’t consider Nunn a “real Georgian.” (The solution: photo ops involving denim and quadrupeds.)
As Election Day nears, I hope Georgia awakens from its Lame Southern Democrat-induced slumber to the reality that Michelle Nunn deserves to lose. The same goes for overgrown Boy Scout Jason Carter and all of the public education fetishists and surname coattail-clingers that comprise the Democratic Party below the Mason-Dixon Line.
Because no one this lame deserves to represent you.
—John Henry Thompson is Editor-in-Chief of THE ARCH CONSERVATIVE
(Like what you see? Support THE ARCH CONSERVATIVE!)