This time of year, we swim so deeply in politics that those of us in the punditry business sometimes forget to take a breath.
And by this morning, with the political hangover of Tuesdays election finally wearing away like a bad tequila headache - though I do not speak from experience - the coverage is all about who won, who lost, and who is jumping from a bridge in despair.
Hopefully we dont have any literal bridge-jumpers, though some candidates should tie a brick to their political ambitions and drown them before they think about running again.
This is being written before the election, and published af-terward, so Ill make some predictions and then open the paper Wednesday morning to declare myself a genius, or a goober. Or both.
Lets check together to see how I did with these prognostications (admittedly, including some wishful thinking) of winners and losers:
U.S. Senate: Saxby Chambliss, the anointed GOP candidate who will fight Max Cleland this fall.
Governor: Sonny Perdue in a runoff with Linda Schrenko. This race will be almost biblical: Whoever comes in first in the primary will lose in the runoff.
Lieutenant governor: Mike Beatty, a tough opponent of video poker.
Secretary of state: Vernadette Ramirez Broyles, Georgias first statewide Hispanic candidate.
State school superintendent: Kathy Cox, because a lot of voters will confuse her with the popular Democratic secretary of state (who spells her first name with a C).
U.S. House, 9th District: Are you kidding? Charlie Norwood.
U.S. House, 12th District: A Barbara Dooley touchdown.
State school superintendent: Barbara Christmas in a runoff with Joe Martin. And Christmas will probably win in November.
U.S. House, 12th District: Charles Walker Jr. (who told me Monday he has worn out - literally - a car while campaigning up and down the sprawling Athens-to-Savannah district) in a runoff with Chuck Pardue.
Just think: In two weeks well do this all over again in the runoffs, with a whopping turnout of 3 percent.
Columbia County lost a great man Saturday when Walter Tankersley passed away.
Id known Mr. Walter my entire life. He and his dear, sweet wife Annie Laurie lived in Winfield, just a couple of pastures away from where I grew up. And for my entire life he was a pillar of the community, one of those solid sort of men you always felt like would be there because he always had been.
Its likely many other folks felt the same way. Mr. Walter was a deacon at Sharon Baptist Church for 51 years. In an era when some people change churches nearly as often as they change socks, thats a long time to devote to one body of faith. And Miss Annie Laurie stuck with him for 53 years in a marriage that produced two fine sons.
Mr. Walter helped build the bomb plant - now known as the Savannah River Site - after serving his country in World War II. He served his community, too, helping build the Winfield Fire Department and serving on the board of directors of Columbia County Cares.
He was a native, one of the old-timers whose wisdom is too seldom sought these days, and only missed when its no longer available. Walter Tankersley was a good man, and on behalf of a community that is better because he was born into it, I offer my sincere gratitude to him and my deepest sympathy to Miss Annie Laurie, Bobby, Billy, and the rest of the Tankersley family.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to barrypaschal@ yahoo.com, or call 863-6165, extension 106.)
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