Roy Barnes' Second Act Becoming the first Democratic governor to lose an election in Georgia in more than 130 years would send most men reaching for the whiskey, but if a recent announcement is any guide, Roy Barnes is managing to handle the setback with grace. He shocked observers this week with his first career move: rather than using a golden parachute to land at one of Atlanta's white-shoe law firms, he's opted to spend the next six months practicing with Atlanta Legal Aid.
If another outgoing governor has ever decided to make a living providing legal services to the indigent, I've never heard of him. Adding his star power to an already crackerjack legal staff should bring more attention to the plight of the poor in Georgia's legal system than any speeches or statements he could have made in office. Beyond that, though, I have to tip my hat to him for making such a canny political maneuver: I can hardly think of another choice that would have as starkly underlined his committment to public service. The image of a former governor arguing cases for downtrodden is sure to linger in the public mind, and should stand him in good stead if — when? — he decides to make the jump back into competitive politics.
All in all, not a bad first move. I'm looking forward to seeing what he does next.
More on L'Affaire Lott I can't decide which is worse: a Senate majority leader with a sweet tooth for the days when states stashed colored folk out of view, or a Senate majority leader with the notion that he can buy off African-Americans by supporting affirmative action "across the board." Wouldn't it be nice if he could find an option somewhere between callousness and pity?
Winter Wonderland My friend Joe Winter finally overhauled his website over the weekend, installing a blog on the front page that comes chock full o' good posts on politics and urban affairs. Take a gander at it.