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Oglesby: Thoughts on Libya, redistricting, 2012 races
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Presidential explorer Newt Gingrich bluntly told it exactly as it is when, like other politicians were, asked their views on President Barack Obama's Libya strategy.

Becoming involved makes sense only if the goal is to take Moammar Gadhafi out, voluntarily or involuntarily, was the essence of his response. If you do that, you don't waste resources and human lives on both sides pussyfooting around. You would go in and do the job quickly, with or without United Nations approval, covertly or openly.

From news reports and analysts that's what the general Arab League and others in the region want.

Other Republicans (and Democrats) presidential wannabes, congressional leaders, etc. are basically dancing around the issue. Gadhafi's been given a chance to leave safely but continues to slaughter his own people.

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Moving to Georgia, it appears the 36 GOP state senators as of this writing are equally divided on restoring at least some of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle powers that were taken away before the session started. From what I gather, it seems leadership is somewhat lacking and hurting some legislative initiatives important to the state budget. Seldom does a House Speaker openly and pointedly so criticize the senators of the same party, but Speaker David Ralston felt it necessary to finish state business and unloaded on them. I also hear Gov. Nathan Deal is talking privately to some of them.

Leadership by team often is weak. Usually even a team needs a strong central leader, particularly in the political realm.

Strong leadership is really going to be needed during the special session for reapportionment. All incumbents seeking re-election or other offices will want lines drawn to favor their strengths and eliminate weaknesses; same with their opponents. Some of these are contradictory. Well-placed newcomers want the same.

It's going to take strong leadership to balance these diverse interests without the gerrymandering excesses then-Gov. Roy Barnes led last time. Let's create compact districts with compatible interests with as few county lines split as possible. Strong leadership can produce such.

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Already some local area decisions have been made publicly, and some of them beg questions. For example, Deputy Jeff Strickland has announced he's running for Hall County sheriff next year and seeking campaign contributions. Begged question: What is current Sheriff Steve Cronic going to do?

I know some other political decisions have been made but will not reveal them until those involved move in a public way. That should be fairly soon now that the General Assembly is about to adjourn its regular session. The reapportionment special session won't be too long off.

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Several have asked me (1) why, with Obama officially announcing his candidacy, are the interested Republicans so slow in official candidacy announcements; and (2) who do I think their candidates will be?

It's still early, and I suspect they're still gauging whether a run for the nomination is realistic in all respects such as experience, other qualifications and money. Several are exploring this fully before committing.

Who? There're plenty of potentials, all with strengths and weaknesses. My guess as of now (subject to change) is if they run, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Herman Cain (not necessarily in that order) would be the leaders.

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Finally, the political immaturity of tea partiers and poor leadership of Obama about tied in ineffectiveness in the last-moment avoidance of a government shutdown. Shame on both.

Ted Oglesby is retired associate and opinion editor of The Times. His column appears biweekly on Tuesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com. You can reach him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA. 30501.

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