Roy Barnes wasn’t allowed to dance back into office back in 2004 after he let down his southern state by desecrating their flag and ticking off their teachers. Nathan Deal, on the other hand was plodding away at that time, earning the respect of his fellow Georgians and doing their bidding, politically. That, in a nutshell, is probably why an AJC columnist is calling Nathan Deal “Bulletproof.”
Fast-forward six years to the present and you now have Roy Barnes trying to shed his repelling snake skin and entice voters to just give him one more shot. He’s even come down off the throne to tour the countryside for well nigh a year.
Nathan Deal, who never went out of the limelight–or the favor of Georgians–is asking them to put him in the governor’s chair instead. The voters polled at the start of the race said Deal was a shoe-in.
And as we say in the South: the race was on.
Roy Barnes throws first punch
Roy threw a punch at his opponent, bringing to light his inability to properly complete the paperwork to run for the governor’s coveted seat, neglecting to mention loans he had gotten on behalf of his daughter.
Nathan Deal took it on the chin and redid the necessary forms to show everything they were supposed to (or so he thought).
Roy Barnes heard Deal was still in the lead so he sucker punched him again, bringing up another financial faux pas that Nathan Deal had made: What about those loans for your salvage business?You have to list them, too.
Deal ponied up that info, dotting his “I’s” and crossing his “T’s” this time to make sure the former banker would stop majoring on the minor: It wasn’t like Nathan Deal was trying to not pay his loans; he just didn’t see that money borrowed with a daughter and a business partner should be lumped into his “assets.”
Barnes, former banking investor and trial lawyer
Barnes, a former banking investor in Georgia, who raked in all his millions by knowing all about assets–his and other peoples–was a quick study in finessing the paperwork about finances when he ran for the top job. And as he should be, since he did learn how to work those numbers to his own financial advantage years before he served at the capital. Roy Barnes earned his money as a trial lawyer, too, according to the AJC, so he isn’t new to the punch and duck of the court room or the political arena.
But if Roy Barnes assumed that those two financial punches (his strong suit) would knock out his opponent in the ring once and for all, he was mistaken. The polls took a dive briefly, but then Nathan Deal came out of his own corner and took up the fight.
Nathan Deal’s ace up his sleeve
Nathan Deal played his ace in the game, reminding everyone of what they had in Roy and his governing abilities before he went on a voter-inspired sabbatical: a teacher betraying, flag-destroying egotistical financial wheeler and dealer who was dubbed King Roy before the end of his one-term governorship.
Deal hit it out of the ballpark on that one. Georgians are like elephants: they have very long memories.
Barnes kept trying to throw another knockout punch with a financial question here, a financial probe there, and now even going so far as to help usher in a ‘re-look’ at Nathan Deal’s daughters bankruptcy proceedings from before.
But despite everything Roy Barnes is throwing in the ring at Nathan Deal, it is still Deal that is left standing and looking like the champ. He isn’t throwing low blows at Barnes or his family and Deal is not shying away from any responsibilities he carries regarding debts incurred on behalf of his family.
The flag could already be thrown by the referee in this fight, but Nov. 2 is going to be the end of fight night for these two, as Roy Barnes is going to have to be escorted from the ring kicking and screaming. Nathan Deal, on the other hand, remains so high in the polls that AJC columnist Jim Galloway has dubbed him “bulletproof.” And I’d say that about sums it up, since no disclosure so far about the former House rep has hurt him permanently in the polls at all.
Resources: Personal Opinion (Op/Ed piece)
Jim Galloway, “The Bulletproof Candidacy of Nathan Deal,” AJC.com
Alan Judd, “Roy Barnes’ Wealth Built Over the Years,” AJC.com