Oct. 30, 2006: A Vote For Perdue (Mary, That Is)

Dear Ms. Perdue:

We haven’t met, but I feel like I know you because I have seen you on television a lot recently. I’m not sure who convinced you to do commercials for your husband’s re-election campaign, but they deserve a gold star.

I have been around the advertising business for 40 years, and have a little walking-around knowledge on the subject. Your commercials are good. Very good. Besides, it has been a treat to see some positive ads in the midst of the usual political mudslinging.

Your husband’s opponent, Lt. Gov. Mark “the Big Guy” Taylor, can’t counter your genteel and dignified appearance. He is on his third marriage, and bringing up that fact isn’t going to endear him with many women voters in the state. (If he did win, I am wondering if the current Mrs. Taylor would be the state’s Third Lady? Stuff like that confuses me.)

By the way, The Woman Who Shares My Name didn’t know much about you either, because you have been a low-profile First Lady, but she took an instant liking to you after seeing your ads. You should be honored. She doesn’t take an instant liking to many things, including my drinking milk out of the bottle, people who don’t turn their headlights on in the rain and just about anything having to do with politics.

I don’t want to alarm you, but your television spots are so effective and you come across so well in them, you might have some folks voting for you instead of your husband. There are those among us who believe that in some cases we may elect the wrong spouse to public office. For example, if Barbara Bush had been president instead of George H.W. Bush, there is no question she would have finished the job in Iraq the first time around and not left such a mess for her son. No head of a country with half a lick of sense — including that little weasel in Iran — would have messed with Barbara, and today we might have Peace on Earth instead of a bunch of little satraps threatening us all the time.

The same holds true for Laura Bush. I’ll bet that if we had elected her president, she would have charmed the Democrats and the Republicans into passing all the legislation George W. can’t get passed. Who could say “no” to Laura Bush? Plus, being a former teacher and school librarian, she has a good command of the English language and wouldn’t get things as balled up as the president does to the point that we aren’t always sure what he’s talking about. And she has a nice, genuine smile, not that little smirk that makes her husband look like he knows something we don’t know but isn’t going to tell us.

I don’t think either you or your husband want that to happen here in Georgia. You’ve got a lot better things to do with your time than to be governor, and he seems to enjoy the job. But you do need to tell him to be careful about his recent land purchases. Frankly, they just don’t pass the smell test with a lot of rank-and-file Georgians. I have had people who have strongly supported him in the past tell me that he is beginning to act like the Democrats he replaced and that they are disappointed in him. That is a shame, because he is a good and decent man, but the land deals make him look like someone who is using his high office for personal gain. Either he is getting bad advice, or he refuses to heed good advice. I’ll bet he’ll listen to you.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that your commercials are dynamite, and you are a terrific asset to your husband’s campaign. I am always bragging about the things that make Georgia such a great state: Majestic mountains, beautiful beaches, nice people and Vidalia onions, just to name a few. After watching you on television over the past few weeks, I am adding Georgia’s First Lady to that list.

Dick Yarbrough