Chuck Williams: Michelle Nunn's tactics politics as usual

chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.comApril 28, 2014 

Michelle Nunn lost my respect last week.

Nunn is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

She has the bloodlines for the job. Her father is Sen. Sam Nunn, an expert on all things military. He was a man of great vision, strength and character — an old-school Georgia Democrat that many Republicans supported time and again because they respected him.

She has been CEO of Points of Light, an Atlanta-based non-profit that focuses on volunteer services.

That is a great launching pad to public service.

But she has a head start because of her last name. If it was Thomas, she might not be enjoying this great advantage.

Michelle Nunn has built a mighty war chest as the Democrats nationally eye a chance to wrest a Senate seat away from the Republicans in November. She raised more than $2.4 million in the first quarter of this year.

She appears to be treating her May 20 Democratic primary as a victory lap, largely because she has three underfunded challengers, Across the state they have been holding debates. Todd Robinson, of Columbus; former Georgia state Sen. Steen Miles of Atlanta; and Atlanta psychiatrist Branko Radulovacki have been showing up.

Not Nunn.

“She is running like it is a coronation,” Miles said last week. “And that is unfair to the citizens of Georgia.”

I know, Nunn is just playing it by the book. When you are leading and have your challengers on the ropes, conventional political wisdom says you don’t give them a chance to take potshots at you.

I get it.

But let’s make the case right now that conventional political wisdom is one of the reasons our country is in political crisis. Playing it by the book is one of the reasons we have a Congress that is polarized and dysfunctional.

And to add insult to injury, Nunn has indicated she will show up for a Georgia Public Television debate, Miles said last week. That means when the statewide glare is on the candidates, she will be there.

She didn’t see fit to come to Columbus for a regionally televised debate. But in a strange move, she was here a week before the debate at the Whitewater Express office right next door to the Columbus State University theater where the debate took place.

Her people were trying to get coverage for that and other Columbus events. But then she ducks the debate where she and her handlers can’t control the questions or environment.

That is insulting.

Chuck Williams, senior editor for content, chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.com.

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