Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The importance of military service in the 8th

Gene Rector, who covers Robins Air Force Base for The Telegraph, did nice piece today about the question facing military families, veterans and others here in the 8th District, and particularly in Houston County.

If you want a veteran in Congress, do you go with former Army Ranger Jim Marshall, who holds the seat now, or retired Air Force General Rick Goddard?

Former Congressman Mac Collins won Houston County, a Republican stronghold, in 2006. But he didn't win it by enough. The thinking has been that Goddard would win it with a stronger number, putting him over the top district wide. Of course, that ignores Collins performance in the north part of the district where he lived, and with rural voters who remember him, but Goddard has been working those areas pretty hard from what I can tell.

But Goddard's military record, arguably his biggest strength, is easily countered by Marshall.

You flew jets in Vietnam? I was on the ground leading a recon platoon. You ran the Robins ALC? I'm already on the Armed Services Committee. Ask Robins how that's been working for them.

I thought it was interesting when former POW and current Texas Congressman Sam Johnson spoke to local veterans last week on Gen. Goddard's behalf. He kept noting how few veterans there are in Congress, and how electing Gen. Goddard would add another one.

I kind of wanted to tap him on the shoulder and say, "Uh, Congressman..."

Who knows how it will all break down Nov. 4. But Goddard has another issue in this. He has to fight the narrative that a military general would have trouble becoming one vote in a sea of 435.


Keich said...

It seems like the Republicans are running the exact campaign this time as they did last, so should we really expect a different result?

Lucid Idiocy said...

Several differences:

1. They're not hitting the "Marshall is a liberal" mantra nearly as hard.

2. They're not hitting the "Marshall likes Nancy Pelosi and Nancy Pelosi is a liberal" mantra quite as hard.

3. They don't have as much money from third parties and the NRCC... which may explain 1 and 2.

4. Goddard lives in Houston County, not Butts County like "Metro Mac."

5. People are pissed at a Democratic Congress... and Bush.

Keich said...

Good points.

I still say Goddard loses by at least 3,500 votes. I mean, based on the Telegraph online, I can't tell what he's "running on." Is it just me or is really him and his campaign that's to blame for this?

Lucid Idiocy said...

Our coverage (which of course means my) isn't near as good this time out. Of course, we covered every damn thing too years ago.

His message is that Congress is broken. There are some differences in his stances compared to Marshall, but not many.