Winner: Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren, who not only was returned to office but actually ran 4½ percentage points ahead of fellow Republican Mitt Romney.
Loser: Sheriff Warren and pro-enforcement immigration activists. That’s because the controversial federal 287(g) program that Warren was the first sheriff in Georgia to use will almost surely be deep-sixed by President Obama.
Loser: Lockheed Martin, where the brass is worried about the impact Obama’s election will have on production of the new F-35 fighter. The Marietta plant is building the center-wing section of the jet, presently at the rate of about one per week. Not only are Obama and liberal Democrats pushing for a smaller military, company officials thought a Romney win would probably mean a quicker deal with Congress to avoid going “off the fiscal cliff.” Now continued gridlock is a real possibility and layoffs more likely. In addition, Romney’s loss ends whatever small possibility there was that production of the F-22 Raptor at the plant would be resumed. Obama’s victory and the dire pressure on the federal budget probably mean greater pressure than ever on Lockheed to find foreign customers for its planes.
Winner and Loser: Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. Romney’s loss keeps Olens in Georgia rather than possibly going to Washington as part of the Romney administration — which should suit most Georgians just fine. But Olens is also a winner by virtue of having helped mastermind Romney’s win here.
Loser: Newt Gingrich. The former east Cobb resident will find it harder to pay off the campaign debt he incurred during the GOP primary without the help of “President Romney” as star guest at fundraisers.
Winner: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. The rising star could be on the short list for a cabinet post during the second Obama administration if he wants to be, but said late Thursday he plans to stay put and run for a second term next year as mayor.
Loser: Mayor Reed. You can be sure that barring an unexpected change in style and substance, President Obama will continue to be deeply unpopular with many Georgians. That won’t help Democrat Reed attract moderates and rural Georgians if, as many anticipate, he decides to run for governor in 2014.
Losers: Republican office-holders and wannabes in Cobb, Georgia and across the country who in the wake of Tuesday’s debacle must decide whether to risk alienating their base on immigration and social issues (abortion, gay rights, etc.) in hopes of broadening their base.
Losers: Tea Partiers, Right-to-Lifers and Immigration Hard-Liners, who will continue to be important elements of the conservative movement but who may find themselves being prodded by mainline Republican leaders to temper some of their positions in hopes of broadening the base.
WEDNESDAY’S ELECTION POST-MORTEM hosted by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Club wasn’t the happy occasion many had hoped for. Noted moderator Heath Garrett: “We’re not going to let the gloomy weather today be symbolic of our mood.”
But most of what followed was downbeat, at least to the majority-conservative audience.
“Those who remember 1964 and the battle between Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller know there’s a long history among the Republicans in terms of debating what is a ‘Republican’ and what is a ‘conservative’ and how do you marry the two. So we’re going to see that debate heat up again with an intensity not seen in years,” Mercer University economist Dr. Roger Tutterow told the group.
Political analyst Matt Towery noted that “the litmus test for what is a ‘real Republican’ is about to change,” suggesting the GOP must mute or change its positions on various social issues.
“The Democrats understand it. This is why they’re successful. There are certain issues they don’t have to talk about all the time because they know their voters are with them. They don’t have to talk about them and they’ll still get 90 percent of their vote.”
Garrett noted that the “demarcation line” for voters on many issues is age 45.
“If you are under the age of 45, even if you are a 100 percent Republican voter, you are at least somewhat more fiscally conservative than your parents, but much more socially moderate than them,” he said. “That doesn’t mean pro-abortion or pro- all these other things, but they don’t want to hear about them or talk about them. They’re not major issues in their lives. They think they affect few people and they view it as the archaic, antiquated politics of the past. … And the way that (older) Republicans talk about their platform and their agenda is very offensive to that generation and we’re going to have to address that with niche advertising in a much more creative way.”
Garrett also noted people tend to vote throughout their lives for whichever party received their vote in their first presidential election. And with Obama running so strongly among young people, that bodes ill for Republicans in decades ahead, he warned.
TUTTEROW noted this election marked the first time in U.S. history that a president (or vice president) who suffered a sharp recession during his term was able to hold onto the office, unlike when George W. Bush lost to Obama in 2008, Bush I lost to Bill Clinton in 1992, Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980 and Richard Nixon (Eisenhower’s VP) was defeated by John F. Kennedy in 1960.
Tutterow predicted Obama’s win will mean more environmental and labor regulations; will mean the expiration of the 2 percent reduction in the payroll tax; and will result in “means-testing” for any dividend and capital gains tax cuts.
“And I have full confidence in the ability of the White House and Congress to get together and put together a bipartisan proposal to postpone the ‘fiscal cliff’ for another year,” he added. “In another words, they’re going to kick the can down the road. I don’t see the courage to make the hard decisions with regard to the fiscal cliff. At this point, you cannot solve that unless the entitlements go back on the table, and I’m not sure there is an appetite for addressing that right now.”
He also said it’s unlikely the stock market will be robust in the near term, and indeed, the market plunged late this week following Obama’s victory.
“Historically the stock market has done a little better under the Democrats and the bond market has done a little better under the Republicans,” he said. “But that said, I think the market is making a bet on it going the other way.”
DON’T FORGET today’s Marietta Veterans Day Parade sponsored by the Marietta Kiwanis Club and City of Marietta, which will feature six marching bands and step off from the parking lot of Roswell Street Baptist Church at 11 a.m. en route to Marietta Square. It will be followed at noon by a Veterans Day ceremony on the Square with remarks from parade grand marshal Admiral James O. Ellis (U.S.N. Ret.) of Marietta.
AFTER THE PARADE and ceremony, swing by the Cherokee Heights Neighborhood Arts Festival. One of Marietta’s best-kept secrets each fall, it will feature 25 residential artists musicians and authors, according to organizer Jim Morris, and runs from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Etowah Drive between Freyer and Seminole just off Cherokee Street.
YOU CAN EXPECT a festive atmosphere at today’s monthly Cobb Democratic Party breakfast meeting, which starts at 9 at the Three Amigos Restaurant on Whitlock Avenue in Marietta.
ONE LAST ELECTORAL TIDBIT: Georgia isn’t usually thought of as one of the “big” states in terms of presidential politics — but the only state bigger than Georgia (16 electoral votes) won by Mitt Romney on Tuesday was Texas (38). Looked at another way, the combined electoral votes of Romney’s top two states — 54 — were far fewer than the 84 votes from Obama’s top two: California (55) and Florida (29).
SICK BAY: Marietta architect Lamar Cheatham is out of the hospital after heart surgery and now faces a two-month homebound recuperation.
A PORTRAIT of former Georgia Supreme Court Justice G. Conley Ingram of Marietta will be unveiled at 10 a.m. Dec. 6 in the Supreme Court of Georgia Courtroom in the Judicial Building in Atlanta.
Judge Ingram was appointed to the high court by Gov. Jimmy Carter in 1973 and served through 1977, then went back onto private practice. He now has Senior Judge status in Cobb Superior Court.