CENTER STAGE

A Political Thriller

“An entertaining political thriller—smart and engrossing. No shortage of political intrigue depicted with astuteness and emotional drama.”
—Kirkus Reviews

Georgia on My Mind

The political world has Georgia on its mind.  Which side has the edge?

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer nailed it, “Now we take Georgia, and we change America!”

The January 5 Senate elections, an unprecedented two Special Election to decide the Senate’s majority, will determine the Senate’s composition. If the Democratic Party’s progressive wing prevails, institutional changes will be enacted; the Senate filibuster, expanding the Supreme Court, the economic stimulus, and adding states to the union. Their list is either your dream or your nightmare.

Joe Biden capitalized on population changes and an anti-Trump suburban vote to turn Georgia from red to blue. Right now, the Georgia Senate races have a very slight, crimson hue, leaning Republican for both seats.

Both parties will be well-funded, the race will be decided by two factors: first, which party has the superior candidates, and second, turnout, who best drives their base.

As someone who managed political campaigns and as the author of Center Stage—A Political Thriller, a novel about a rock star’s exit from the Las Vegas stage and his campaign for the United States Senate, the candidates may determine the outcome.

The two most naturally talented candidates are Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Senator Kelley Loeffler. Each skillfully packages messages in clean bites, paints the other side as dangerous, and does it all with a smile. Ossoff straddles between the progressive and moderate wings. Loeffler relies on her natural charm, business acumen, and an athlete’s timing while campaigning.

Ossoff threw the first punch against Republican Senator David Perdue; there was no upside to Perdue ducking the Atlanta Press Club’s December 6 debate. Ossoff was left with an empty podium. This gambit has been tried before with mixed results, but Ossoff capitalized.  He termed Perdue a “coward,” with “astonishing arrogance.” Ossoff scored some points.

The turnout of bases is critical. Without Trump on the ballot, it will be difficult for Democrats to replicate their November turnout, which was motivated in part by anti-Trump voters in Atlanta and its suburbs.

It is inherently risky to depend on new voters, especially in a special election the first week in January. It is difficult to accept claims by the New Georgia Project and the Stacey Abrams-founded Fair Fight that they have identified and register 100,000 plus potential new voters. The national pandemic and the holiday season reduce the chances of mobilizing and registering new voters. Republicans have the best issue to mobilize votersfear of the Democratic takeover.

Every political conversation must include President Donald Trump. His rally, although far too many grievances, accomplished his goal, to move the needle. President Obama and President-elect Biden may make virtual appearances, but Trump at a rally is a rocket blast of enthusiasm to galvanize Republicans and conservative-leaning independents.

It is always easier to vote no. The specter of Democrats seizing control of the Senate and the progressive wish list will not sell well in Georgia. Loeffler already employed the best line, “We are the firewall for the future of our country.” You will hear this line again and again and again.

 

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Center Stage Cover
$19.95
January 12, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-64543-794-9