Political junkies across Georgia who've always wanted to see Athens native Michael Thurmond, the state's labor commissioner, in a top-tier statewide race - but have come to despair of ever seeing it happen - got at least a slight hint last week that they need not necessarily give up that thus-far vain hope.
In a brief news release issued from his office, Thurmond graciously declined what apparently had been an offer of an appointment in the U.S. Department of Labor.
"I appreciate the opportunity afforded by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Assistant Secretary Jane Oates to serve in the Obama administration. However, after much thought and prayer, I have decided to continue focusing my energy and efforts on helping nearly half-a-million jobless Georgians get back to work," the announcement read, in its entirety.Thurmond's announcement fueled speculation that he might make a run at the lieutenant governor's office, possibly in some sort of coordinated campaign with leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes.But, as has come to be expected from the ever-cautious Thurmond, he's given himself an "out." In his brief announcement on turning down a Washington appointment, he takes care to note he wants to focus on his current work.
Certainly, continuing economic adversities in Georgia and elsewhere in the nation and the world give Thurmond a handy - and, in fairness, an all too real - reason for backing away from the lieutenant governor's race, if that is his eventual decision.
And it's a delicate decision for Thurmond to face.
On the positive side, Thurmond's service as labor commissioner - he's nearing the end of his third four-year term - has shown that he's capable of running and winning a statewide race.
Part of the reason for his electoral success is his very real engagement with the work of the labor commissioner's office. It's rare when a plant closing or similar economic calamity doesn't bring Thurmond into the affected community to meet with local leaders and announce plans for addressing the issue, such as retraining laid-off workers. There's no telling how much political capital that sort of thing has built up over the years.On the other hand, though, Thurmond must be asking himself whether a run at the lieutenant governor's office would be worth it. Like the old joke about what the dog running after the car will do if he catches it, it's worth wondering what Thurmond might be able to do as a Democratic lieutenant governor in a statehouse that certainly will be dominated by Republican officeholders, many of whom Thurmond would be working with in the lieutenant governor's role as the presiding officer of the state Senate.
It's difficult to see where the balance might fall for Thurmond in his consideration - if there is, indeed, any consideration - of a run for the lieutenant governor's office.
He could do it. He could run, and he could win, and the post could serve as a springboard to even higher office.
Whether he will, though, likely depends on how much he thinks he could do in and with the office. And the answer to that conundrum is likely to be "not much," given the GOP's continuing domination of state politics.
But there's another factor complicating things for Thurmond. As anyone who even casually follows state politics knows, every time an election rolls around, Thurmond's name always is mentioned as a possible contender for nearly any available top-tier statewide office. Thus far, Thurmond has kept his ambitions confined to the labor commissioner's office, and as already noted here, he's doing an excellent job there.However, Thurmond may be fast approaching the point at which he's going to have to make a move to signal his readiness for a bigger challenge, or risk having his name not automatically moving to the top of the heap in virtually every election cycle.
Put simply, if Thurmond doesn't run for lieutenant governor in 2010 - regardless of whether it makes absolutely perfect sense or doesn't - he well indeed might finish his political career in the labor commissioner's office.
- December (1)
- November (4)
- October (18)
- September (16)
- August (3)
- July (15)
- June (10)
- May (4)
- April (7)
- March (8)
- February (17)
- January (4)
- December (3)
- November (2)
- October (7)
- September (10)
- August (11)
- July (10)
- June (5)
- May (26)
- April (16)
- March (20)
- February (20)
- January (7)
- December (9)
- November (29)
- October (92)
- September (68)
- August (55)
- July (90)
- June (104)
- May (66)
- April (117)
- March (89)
- February (85)
- January (79)
- December (73)
- November (97)
- October (61)
- September (77)
- News from Alabama: Artur Davis leading all republi...
- Jim Thompson of Athens Banner Herald op-ed on Mich...
- Vietnam Veteran to head the 1.5 million member Vet...
- Christianity Versus Atheism: Liberal Democrat Dile...
- Jefferson County town to double property taxes for...
- Putnam County BOE to raise Property Taxes, Cut tea...
- Hard times hit tiny Alma, Georgia
- Coffee County has the 5th highest unemployment rat...
- Post Office in Calhoun County Robbed.
- Funding very likely to delay final leg of the Four...
- Meet the Candidates (Democratic) at Fort Valley St...
- Alabama Democrat won't vote for Pelosi
- Citizens To Recall Dooly District Attorney Fachini...
- Agnes Scott, Mercer Partner to Produce More Doctor...
- Marshall: About $10 million likely for Dublin VA h...
- Thurbert Baker is in it to win it.
- Ted Kennedy passes away last night at the age of 7...
- Matt Towery of The Insider Advantage Ask: Is Obama...
- Marshall in Warner Robins Last Night
- Barnes speaks to Democrats in Morrow Last Night
- Meaningless Poll from Rasmussen (Democrats only)
- Baker to step down from Attorney General?
- Rep. Sanford Bishop's health care town hall draws ...
- Roy barnes to address Clayton County Democrats
- Federal Government May Decide on Permit for Nuclea...
- Carl Camon visits Miller County.
- Marshall Visits Tifton Hospital & made a stop in M...
- Re: Jane Kidd for U.S. Senate?
- Democrat Bruce Gilbert to run for mayor
- Sumter County Schools Not Good Enough
- A timeout from Politics: Montezuma Man escapes Mac...
- Glenn Beck loses more advertisers
- Early County Coal Plant Project Could Be Sold
- New Centers To Help Combat Veterans Will Open in A...
- Jane Kidd for U.S. Senate?
- Conservative Democrat Jim Marshall not in favor of...
- Huge Endorsement for Ken Hodges
- Marshall moves Forsyth town hall meeting
- Retired School Teacher Joe Posey to seek Council P...
- Hwy 36 East in Lamar County renamed in Honor for f...
- New tax troubles for Reps. Talton, Mangham and oth...
- Carol Porter speaks to Democrats
- Where's Thurbert?
- Poythress back in Rural Georgia.
- Michael Mills Secretary of State.
- Another Must read: Another David Frum article: On ...
- McCaskill says Rep. Scott's racism charge 'irrespo...
- Town Halls Gone Wild, (Really Wild).
- A Must Read: The reckless Right courts violence by...
- Early Co. Commissioners planning to increase Prope...
- Healthcare debate goes to Tifton where Johnny Isak...
- That makes 8 in the Republican Primary for Insuran...
- David Poythress in Cartersville
- Conservative goal: No health reform at all?
- Atlanta Democrat David Scott office vandalized
- Thurmond: It will get better
- Water Wars Could Wound Some Candidates
- Bishop to hold Townhall meetings.
- Dick Yarborough interview with Jim Marshall (D-Mac...
- The Bluedogs are now the big dogs on Capitol Hill
- Air Force vet plans run for WR mayor
- Obama falls in Polls, but still trust him more tha...
- Senators Closer To Health Package
- This is why republicans will have a hard time gett...
- Why Rural America Needs a Public Health Insurance ...
- Besides David Poythress,DuBose Porter, Carl Camon ...
- Moderate & Conservative Democrats better look out ...
- MoveOn.Org targets John Barrow (D-Savannah)
- Feds freeze Georgia Department of Transportation G...
- OP-ED by John Barrow in the Savannah Morning News
- Dems Porter And Baker Swap Jibes Over Water Wars S...
- Local small-business people seek stimulus money in...
- Rep. John Barrow offers health care survey
- Kingston holds Townhall meeting in Valdosta yester...
- Bush appointee to run for State Attorney General
- Teilhet earns critical endorsement by Black Caucus...
- Right-Wing antics.
- Mary Squires Announces Early Endorsements
- Obama Administration has me worried.
- My thoughts as we enter August & toward the fall.
- Incumbent Democrat Don Wix of Cobb County to face ...
- Great article by Dick Pettys of The Insider Advant...
- Gubernatorial candidate Carl Camon focuses on educ...
- July (50)
- June (52)
- May (53)
- April (62)
- March (72)