While the world's attention is focused laser-like on Tiger Woods, and the Augusta area's attention is zeroed in on the Masters in hopes of getting a glimpse of the paparazzi stalking Tiger Woods, it's comforting to know that Masters Week hasn't put a halt to politics.
It has, however, assured that longshot political candidates can make announcements that the world is all but guaranteed to ignore.
To help keep that from happening, I'll helpfully tune readers in to some of the political developments still taking place.
First of all, in case you missed it this past weekend, Georgia's governor's race ended.
No, really. Otis Putnam said so.
Who is Otis Putnam, you ask? If you weren't so engrossed in Tigermania, perhaps you would know that Otis Putnam is going to be the next governor of Georgia.
Putnam made his announcement of his preordained win this weekend from his home base in the south Georgia coastal town of Brunswick, where he works at the local Walmart. (And, no, I am not making any of this up.)
Helpfully, in his announcement, Putnam tells us "I am not your typical candidate for governor." That's good, because right now the "typical" candidates for Georgia governor are ethically challenged political retreads and wannabes.
Putnam's platform is pretty simple: "Jobs and no tax increases." (Except he uses lots of exclamation points, sort of like Brett! McGuire!). I doubt many people would disagree with those goals.
But his ace in the hole in this election is God, who apparently is voting for him. " I will rely on God and the people of Georgia to elect me as the next governor of Georgia!" Putnam says in his announcement.
OK, maybe I'm taking him too literally. I'm sure what he meant was that he would rely on God, and the he also would rely on the people of Georgia to elect him.
Our next major announcement of the political season is expected today from Russell Edwards. You remember him, right? He came to Evans a few months ago to set up a town hall meeting to promote President Obama's health care reforms and, amazingly, got out of town unscathed.
Edwards set up a political action committee devoted to finding someone to run against 10th District U.S. Rep. Paul Broun.
Apparently he's found his man in the mirror.
Edwards sent out a statement this past weekend expressing concerns about the 10th District seat, and said he "plans to announce my intentions for the upcoming election."
As Athens Banner-Herald political writer Blake Aued points out, only retiring incumbents hold press conference to announce they aren't running. Sure enough, Edwards sent out at notice Tuesday that, indeed, he'll announce his intention to run today from the steps of the courthouse in Athens.
Edwards is scheduled to graduate from law school at the University of Georgia in a few weeks, so presumably he'll be able to find gainful employment as an attorney if this running-for-office thing doesn't work out.
Needless to say, he's likely to need that fallback plan if the best he can do is to run for office on a platform of promoting Obamacare - especially in Columbia County.
Broun's communications director, Debbee Keller, sent this response in advance of Edwards' announcement:
"Congressman Paul Broun is focused on serving the constituents of the 10th Congressional District, providing incentives for our job creators, boosting the economy, offering common sense solutions for health care, and reducing the role of the federal government in our daily lives," she says in an e-mail. "He welcomes a discussion with whoever emerges from the Democrat primary and wants to defend Obamacare, the so-called stimulus, and the Pelosi-driven agenda in Congress."
We now return you to Tiger-watching, already in progress.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail barrypaschal@newstimes online.com. Follow at twitter.com/barrypaschal.)
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