General election campaign for U.S. Senate has begun with hyped memo

By Saba Long

Oh how I love – or is it loathe – politics in the digital age. Stories regularly receive more coverage than they are worth, and others serve as an anchor, drowning a promising political career.

In these times, events such as leaked memos are bothersome little things. And so it seems, on the surface, Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn is having a bad day – or couple of days depending on the news cycle.

The Republican communications machine has swiftly pounced on a leaked Nunn campaign memo outlining a nearly year-old campaign strategy conducted by a national Democratic pollster.

The Republican revisionists’ version states that while CEO of Points of Light, a service-centric non-profit, Nunn funneled money to Hamas. Also, she needs African-American votes, Jewish money and the support of LGBT voters.

The memo outlined campaign fundamentals – the base, donors, and affinity groups. Even the names mentioned are the same you would expect to see on nearly every Democratic fundraiser – from Planned Parenthood to Ready for Hillary.

Let’s address the Hamas allegation. The memo never explicitly mentions Hamas but rather Points of Light’s international grants and service awards to inmates and terrorists.

It’s worth pointing out when Nunn left the nonprofit to campaign full time for a U.S. Senate seat, the organization’s board chair Neil Bush, son of President George H.W. Bush remarked: “For the past 20 years, Michelle has helped to build the service movement and has done an exceptional job leading Points of Light. She is visionary, creative and a magnet for great people passionate about service.”

The son of President 41 would surely not have made such gracious comments about the CEO of an organization handing money over to Hamas – particularly considering his father serves as the honorary chair of said organization, and he continues to serve as its chairman.

Next up: Nunn needs African-Americans, Jews and the LGBT vote. Show me one Democrat who can win without the three-legged stool of minority politics – add Hispanics and Asians if you want to show your awareness of Georgia’s changing demographics.

The hype behind this leaked memo is laughable and a clear sign the weeks leading up to the November election will be entertaining.

For the most part, we are still at the inside baseball time marker of the campaign. A quick Twitter search shows those posting stories about the memo are likely to publicly identify as a Republican or a Democrat.

With 90 plus days to go, the majority of voters have yet to focus on the Senate and gubernatorial races.

David Perdue, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, has barely had time to wash off the mud from a brutal primary victory; and voters already are being asked to tell truth from fiction in one of many general election stories.

At its worse, this memo pumps money in the Perdue coffers and turns off independent voters. At its best, it airs Nunn’s vulnerabilities many weeks before the majority of Georgia voters tune in.

Before the end of this week we’ll likely be on to the next bothersome little thing.

About Saba Long

Saba Long is a communications and political professional who lives in downtown Atlanta. She serves as the senior council aide and communications liaison for Post 2 At-Large Atlanta City Councilman Aaron Watson. Most recently, Saba was the press secretary for MAVEN and Untie Atlanta -- the Metro Chamber’s education and advocacy campaigns in supportive of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Referendum. She has consulted with H.E.G. an analytics and evaluation firm where she lent strategic marketing and social media expertise to numerous political campaigns, including that of Fulton County Chairman John Eaves and the 2010 Clayton County transportation referendum. In 2009, Saba served as the deputy campaign manager for the campaign of City Council President Ceasar Mitchell. Previously, Saba was a Junior Account Executive at iFusion Marketing, where she lent fractional marketing strategy to various ATDC technology startups operating out of the Georgia Tech incubator, ATDC. For the past two years, Saba has presented on online marketing and politics to the incoming fellows of the Atlanta chapter of the New Leaders Council.
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2 comments
Burroughston Broch
Burroughston Broch

And don't forget the part that opines Nunn can milk a lot of campaign contributions from Jews if she gets her political stance on Israel correct. Of course, she has no stated position on Israel or much of anything else as she seeks to straddle most every fence.

Burroughston Broch
Burroughston Broch

And don't forget the part that opines Nunn can milk a lot of campaign contributions from Jews if she gets her political stance on Israel correct. Of course, she has no stated position on Israel or much of anything else as she seeks to straddle most every fence.