The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 's Jill Vejnoska poses a the rhetorical question, does anyone in Georgia still remembers when the Peach State's gubernatorial race wasn’t all about Sarah Palin:
You know, before she suddenly breathed life into what one wit termed a “Zombie Campaign”? Before her endorsement of Karen Handel broke the heart of one of her biggest fans, leaving her feeling like some scorned heroine in a romance novel? Before Nathan Deal, the “true” conservative Republican candidate Palin passed over, asked her anyway to please come moderate a series of debates?It should come as no surprise to anyone who who has done their homework why the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate endorsed Handel. Deal is part of a corrupt good old boys' club, and Gov. Palin has a record of fighting such venality.
Less than two weeks ago, things were what passed for politically normal here. Then Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee wandered onto Facebook to endorse Handel, instantly transforming the state’s watching-paint-dry-dull Republican primary into a juicy straight-outta-Wasilla spectacle.
And suddenly Handel, the former Georgia secretary of state who’d trailed by nearly double digits in the polls, ended up winning the seven-candidate race by a startling 11 percentage points.
That set up an Aug. 10 runoff between Handel and No. 2 finisher Deal — and kicked the feverish Palin-inspired speculation level up a few more notches: Would she campaign here for Handel? (Nobody knows, though the campaign gets asked about it nonstop.) Why had she thrown her weight behind a candidate she scarcely knew? (Her only explanation: Handel is a “commonsense conservative” and underdog.)
Best of all, would Deal dare to take the gloves off in dealing with the Palin endorsement, let alone two super-empowered female politicians operating in his own backyard (three, if you count Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who’s also endorsed Handel)?
“I call it the one-two punch,” chuckled Martha Zoller, who hosts a syndicated political talk radio program out of Gainesville. “That’s a bunch of really strong women there.”
Read the rest of this AJC article here.
h/t: roy y