Roy Barnes, former governor of Georgia, who lost his seat after one-term to Sonny Perdue in 2002 (on the second-most depressing election night of my life-thus-far; although maybe because it portended future misery and disappointment it was the first-most depressing, but that’s a debate for another time), is thinking about running for governor again.
Ed Kilgore (who, I didn’t know, is from Georgia) of FiveThirtyEight has a great little piece about this, not so much discussing Barnes’ chancing of retaking the governor’s mansion, but about the idiocy of pundits who are called upon to be experts. Kilgore concludes that if Barnes makes a comeback, it won’t be bucking “conventional wisdom” because the convential wisdom on the subject is wrong and stupid, as expected.
When Barnes’ lost in 2002, it was a very bad year for Democrats. I don’t recall anything particularly egregious he did to lose that year, other than being a freedom-hating terrorist-loving Democrat, but others know better than me. Few statewide Democratic incumbents managed to hold on to their seats that year, and, famously, Max Cleland, the triple-parapalegic Vietnam veteran lost to Saxby Chambliss for being “unpatriotic.” Chambliss of course didn’t repent for that year’s dirty campaigning when he was running in this past election against Jim Martin, and it’s not like Max Cleland is running for office again, so a Barnes’ comeback next year is probably as close to revenge as Georgia Democrats are going to get. Which may not be what they want, either (perhaps there’s an up-and-coming young Dem from the state I’m unaware of) so we’ll have to wait and see.