It seems obvious that the Masters Tournament this week is missing the man who could potentially be its greatest champion ever.
Yep. The North Korean dictator, characteristically holed up inside the totalitarian prison compound sometimes referred to as a country, could have set new records at The National that would endure for all time.
How can we be so sure? Well, according to Agency France Press this past week, Kim "is said once to have scored 11 holes-in-one in a single round of golf."
Top that, Tiger.
Actually, perhaps even more remarkable than his golfing prowess would have been the fashion sense Kim could have brought to our local tournament. AFP's story on Kim focused on the news that North Korea's official Web site stated that Kim's trademark suit is now a worldwide fashion statement. (Who knew?)
"The modest-looking suits have gripped people's imagination and become a global vogue," the story says. "The reason is that the august image of the Great General, who is always wearing the modest suit while working, leaves a deep impression on people's mind in the world.
"To sum up, that is because his image as a great man is so outstanding."
Just in case you haven't seen this snappy dresser lately, he basically wears khakis and an unadorned, plain zipped-up jacket of the same color. It's sort of a modern Chairman Mao look, except without any modernity.
Without Kim's golfing prowess and his fashion sense at The Masters, I suppose we'll have to settle for the mere glory of the greatest tournament played in a country that, despite recent efforts to emulate Kim's politics, is still the freest in the world.
Here's hoping for a great finish today.
Big money talks
Before any of the candidates for statewide office in Georgia can hit their big finish, they'll first have to get started.
That means fundraising. They've all been hard at work there, though Georgia law has handicapped some of them. State law prohibits lawmakers and state office-holders from raising money while the Legislature is in session.
That means candidates such as Austin Scott, a state representative, and John Oxendine, the state insurance commissioner, haven't been able to raise money during the legislature's marathon term.
It hasn't hurt Oxendine too much. As noted in reports due this past week, Oxendine's $2.03 million cash on hand is second among all gubernatorial candidates only to Roy Barnes, the Democrat who wants his old job back and has amassed more money than any candidate in the race: $2.8 million.
Third on the money-on-hand list for gubernatorial candidates is Republican Ray Boyd, a newcomer whose name is notable only because he hit the list by putting in $2 million out of his own pocket.
Former Republican state Sen. Eric Johnson comes in fourth at $1.7 million; Republican ex-congressman Nathan Deal reports $796,312 to rank fifth in cash on hand.
Democratic Attorney General Thurbert Baker reports $624,645 to rank sixth, while Republican ex-secretary of state Karen Handel comes in seventh at $573,610.
Who comes in next? Who cares? Do them a favor and break it to them gently: The candidates not hovering near the top of the money list now aren't going to win the July 20 primary or even make it into a runoff. Sorry, but that's just the way it is. Money isn't votes, but it sure does help in getting them.
Those with virtually no chance of winning include Republicans Scott and state Sen. Jeff Chapman and Ray McBerry; Democrats David Poythress, DuBose Porter, Daniel Alvin, Robert Ingram and Carl Camon; and third-party candidates John Monds, Berry Lasalle Perkins, Matthew Jamison and Al Bartell.
Disagree? Come see me July 21.
But keep in mind: Even the Masters started with 91 contenders. Only one walks away with the big prize today.
If only the governor's race could be settled so quickly.
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail email@example.com. Follow at twitter.com/barrypaschal.)
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