As promised, I have the latest analysis of the recent primary results, courtesy of Junior E. Lee, general manager of the C. Richard Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located over a pool room in Greater Garfield.
I almost missed my deadline because I couldn’t get Junior to answer the phone. He was shooting pool with the Bodine brothers, Roy and Leroy, and losing badly. Junior hates to lose, particularly to the Bodine brothers.
He wasn’t happy to be interrupted but gave me the information and guaranteed its accuracy within plus-or-minus whatever would get me off the telephone.
How did John Oxendine blow a big lead in the Republican gubernatorial primary and not even make the runoff? Junior’s analysis is that nobody in the Republican Party likes Oxendine. One insider told him if the Ox had made the runoff, the number of Republicans standing in line to endorse his opponent would have be so long you’d have thought they were buying one of those iPhone contraptions.
Eric Johnson didn’t do so well, either. Junior says that is because he is from Savannah. The only politician from Savannah who ever had any statewide political impact was Gen. James Oglethorpe and when he got here there was nothing around but Savannah, so that doesn’t count.
In the Democratic primary, former Gov. Roy Barnes got the nomination without a runoff. Junior says that was due to two factors. First, Barnes raised more money than the gross national product of Finland and then used that money for television commercials to apologize for all the things he did wrong while governor. That made it hard to criticize his past performance when he was doing it for you, Junior believes.
Junior thinks that Barnes has a stand-in that looks just like the former governor. Junior got suspicious the morning after the election when he saw a man on television who closely resembled Roy Barnes saying he was “humble.” Junior says people have accused Barnes of a lot of things, but humble has never been one of them. The man had to be an imposter, Junior swears.
If there are two Roy Barneses, look for both of them to skedaddle when President Barack Obama comes to Atlanta on Aug. 2 and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Aug. 16. Junior says being seen grinning and gripping with national Democrats is not a good strategy for getting oneself elected governor of Georgia.
It is down to a runoff between former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal of Gainesville and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel for the Republican nomination for governor. The issue is who is the most conservative. Deal says he is. Handel says Deal was a Clinton Democrat. Junior isn’t sure if she is talking about Bill or Hillary, but decided they are both pretty liberal so it didn’t matter.
Deal says Handel courted the Log Cabin Republicans when she was running for Fulton County Commission. I thought Log Cabin Republicans were a bunch of white guys who had a hunting lodge in Varnell. Junior says, no sir. They are mostly gays and lesbians who don’t have any idea where Varnell is, let alone care about hunting. The things you learn in this job!
Junior says the governor’s race is too close to call. This assumes Deal and Handel don’t kill each other in the runoff and that Roy Barnes avoids anybody that remotely resembles a national Democrat.
I asked him if he had analyzed any of the other races. He said no. Junior says that most folks don’t care about any of the other races except those running and the lizard-loafered lobbyists that cater to them.
Junior said that if I didn’t have any more questions, he’d to get back to the pool table before the Bodine brothers, Roy and Leroy, cleaned him out, and that we would talk again when it gets closer to election time — or when he wins his money back.
Junior E. Lee isn’t much of a pool player, but the boy is one heck of a political analyst. I just wonder how he knew so much about Log Cabin Republicans.
E-mail columnist Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org.