November 30, 2013
Just how bad are things going in America under Obama?
Things are so bad that one candidate for governor in Georgia, Jason Carter, is banking on people being nostalgic for the good old days when his grandfather Jimmy was president.
Carter, a 38-year-old Duke- and University of Georgia-educated lawyer with an attractive young family, is a respected voice in the state Senate, and he has inspired a groundswell of enthusiasm in the state's Democratic political class and in Washington. He's pitching himself as a centrist Democrat who will work to reform education and state ethics laws. Highly ranked by the NRA, Carter stressed his pro-gun bona fides during a phone interview last week, at one point describing the gun with which he taught his child to shoot.
Some polls show he could put the governor's seat in play as Deal also fends off primary challenges. Carter announced his candidacy earlier this month, a move that comes as Democrats are already energized about their 2014 prospects with Michelle Nunn - daughter of Georgia legend Sam Nunn, a former senator - seeking a Senate seat.
In the interview, Jason Carter said he deeply respects his grandfather but emphasized that he's his own man.
"He says a lot of things," the younger Carter said of his grandfather with a laugh, predicting that "we're going to have a lot of differences in public." He added, in a more serious tone, "It's important for folks to know, I'm Jason Carter, I have my beliefs. He's Jimmy Carter, he has his."
Jimmy Carter left office in 1980 with a 34 percent approval rating, tying President George W. Bush's final presidential number. As with most presidents, his standing has improved since then, clocking in at 56 percent nationally as of April, according to Gallup. His favorability numbers have come down since the 1990s amid an active and at times controversial post-presidency. But a recent internal poll showed that in Georgia, the former president had roughly 60 percent favorability, and his wife Rosalynn Carter came in at close to 70 percent, according to a senior national Democrat who saw those numbers.
Pro gun, family friendly, positioning himself as a reformer -- Mr. Carter would seem to have a winning strategy. And since his name will apparently not be drag on his campaign, it will be interesting to see how other Democrats in the race run against him.
The daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn and the grandson of Jimmy Carter may both hold high office in Georgia after the 2014 election.