Diary

From Georgia to Georgia

Everyday this past week, I have watched the news as usual. Everyday I have seen the same four things; Olympics, Georgia Invaded, McCain/Obama, and the hurricane. Not much I can say about a hurricane. I guess I should inset an obligatory congratulation statement for Michael Phelps. So there.

The other two news stories, however, fascinate me. Georgia, that’s the one near Russia, is a bit of an oddity. Portrayed by the media, and our elected officials, as being the sweet innocent bastion of democracy that could never stand up to the mighty Russian Communists. I hate to shatter the illusion, but if you look back a few days before Russia invaded you will find that Georgia had actually started firing upon a breakaway colony. A colony that just happened to be aligned with a small little country to the north called ‘Russia.’

Georgia has long had problems with these little breakaway states, and similarly they have had problems with the Russian government who supported the states. I do not claim to be fully up to date with all the history of this region, nor any of the minute interworking of their society. I can say that this situation looks to me to be a case of where diplomacy has failed. What I do know this is not the story that has been promulgated by the media. I sincerely hope all of the officials who have been making trips over there at least attempt to validate Russia’s claims. Oh what a tangled web that has been woven. Could Russia actually be in the right?

There is a possibility that the initial actions taken by Russian forces could have validated. At this point, however, I am inclined to believe the situation has escalated beyond the point it should have ever reached. Maybe we should have sent Jimmy Carter over there; or does he still believe that you can’t trust a communist?

Carter is the natural segue to the other Georgia, the one known for peaches and a million streets named ‘Peach’-something. With less than a week to go to the DNC the news world is buzzing with talk of VP choices for both candidates. With the recent Georgia/Russia crisis, many people are clamoring for a strong foreign policy guy for Obama. The most natural suggestion is thus Joe Biden, who is most certainly qualified to be a Vice President. But I’m not sure he is the best choice. In the Saddleback Forum on Saturday, Obama stated he would look to Sam Nunn for advice. For those of you out of the loop, Nunn is a former Senator from Georgia who was greatly involved with foreign relations and helped facilitate nuclear disarmament. I argue Nunn is almost a better choice for Obama than Biden. Experience wise they are in the same ballpark, but Nunn has something Biden doesn’t; and that is the state of Georgia.

Georgia is a red state. Recent polls have had Obama and McCain running close together and most current polls give McCain a slight lead. Obama is running commercials here in the peach state, targeting key demographics in an attempt to sway the state his way. Former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr is also in this race, and is on the ballot in Georgia. Some polls have shown Barr as pulling in 6% of the vote here in Georgia. Barr, who use to be a Republican, is actually rated higher than McCain by the NRA. While the Libertarian party is likely to pull voters from both candidates in this state, the addition of Nunn to the Democratic ticket could swing things in Obama’s favor. Nunn is still well liked in the state, and many of the older generation remember him fondly. This could spell danger for McCain, and could wind up giving Obama the 15 electoral votes from Georgia in the end.

But that is all hypothetical. Obama would first have to pick Nunn. If Nunn does not get asked to be VP, expect him to be asked to take some position such as SecState or SecDef in an Obama administration.

John McCain’s running mate? I really can’t make a call there. I’d rather see a younger guy who was the second coming of Goldwater, but I doubt that person exists. I’d settle for Newt though.