By Ryan Matthew Mahoney, Special for USDR
Jason Carter is a complicated politician.
The grandson of former United States President Jimmy Carter admits to googling ex-girlfriends, crying during Marley and Me, and listening to the Barking Gorillas.
In the Georgia General Assembly, many Gold Dome insiders know Senator Carter as a lackluster legislator who heads for the door when politically dangerous legislation is up for vote.
And on the campaign trial, the gubernatorial candidate is a self-proclaimed fiscal conservative but supports the expansion of Medicaid and is open to tax hikes…just not “right now.”
After nine short months, Carter has made it abundantly clear that he’s not complex. He is not evolving. He is not some sort of post-partisan candidate who wants to transcend party and politics. Jason Carter is just willing to say and do anything to get elected.
With enough funding from his granddaddy’s network of liberal donors, Carter believes that his rhetoric (however contradictory or distant from the truth) will oust popular Republican Governor Nathan Deal from office and usher in a new Carter Administration that will restore honor to the family name.
But then there’s reality.
In the 2012 Presidential Election, Mitt Romney won Georgia by eight points (without even trying). Every statewide elected official is a Republican. The State House and Senate are lead by Republicans. The two U.S. Senators and a majority of the Congressional delegation are – you guessed it – Republicans.
To make the climb even worse for Senator Carter, the current governor, Republican Nathan Deal, has a track record worth touting. Under Deal’s conservative leadership, Georgia weathered the Great Recession. During Deal’s first term, 250,000 private sector jobs were created. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 7 years. Site Selection Magazine and CNBC now rank Georgia the #1 state for business. The Governor, as many put it, is the “real Deal.”
For Carter, he’s not letting the facts get in the way of his political ambition. As he jet sets across the country bundling cash from his grandfather’s cohorts, Sen. Carter admonishes Gov. Deal for bad budgeting. Carter fails to mention that he voted for three of Deal’s four budgets.
On the campaign trial, Carter claims that Gov. Deal unfunded education by $1 billion. Carter fails to mention what he would defund to fix the “problem.”
And on television, Carter chastises Deal for turning a blind eye on our teachers and classrooms. But Carter fails to mention that he voted against a budget earlier this year that added over half a billion to education spending – more money for teachers, more money in the classroom.
Carter knows that his campaign platform is shallow, his attacks on Deal are baseless, and his prospects of winning are slim. But he continues to pound the pavement, repeating rhetoric that could only make a granddaddy proud.
So, who is Jason Carter? A crier? A moderate? A candidate desperate for a title? Well, it all depends what day it is.