Are we Georgians a privileged group or what? Here we sit in the greatest state in the union with its majestic mountains; beautiful beaches; the oldest state-chartered university in the nation located in Athens, the Classic City of the South; sweet Vidalia onions and more barbecue than we can eat.
And just when we thought things couldn't get any better, we are now the epicenter of the political world. Consider this: Two Georgians are running for president of the United States, and two are being considered for vice president. Why has God blessed us so?
Before you write and correct me, I know our two presidential candidates are not native Georgians. Bob Barr, the standard-bearer for the Libertarian Party, was born in Iowa. Cynthia McKinney, the pride and joy of the Green Party, is from somewhere just south of the planet Uranus. But we proudly accept them both. And like most Georgia politicians, they are going to make things interesting.
As reported earlier, Barr has said that one of his first acts as president would be to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a "legal union between one man and one woman," and which was championed by (you guessed it) the selfsame former Rep. Bob Barr. Once that is accomplished, he then plans to get marijuana declared the nation's Official Fruit and Vegetable. Let's see Obama or McCain top that one.
Naturally, when I say stuff like that, Libertarians get mad and write fussy notes. One told me recently that I wasn't worth the effort of educating to the Libertarian way and that he wouldn't "waist" his time with me. Libertarians say and do strange things. Maybe it's the weed.
And then there is my hero, our Ambassador to Outer Space -- and former welterweight champion of the U.S. House of Representatives -- Cynthia McKinney. The ambassador has assumed the awesome responsibility of representing the Green Party because the Greens decided that even though former presidential candidate Ralph Nader's mouth moves, he looks like he is dead and very well might be. (One can't be too careful about these kinds of things in an election year.)
Barr has chosen as his vice presidential running mate one Wayne Allen Root, a sports handicapper from Las Vegas who smiles a lot, something Barr, who looks like he just swallowed a prune, doesn't do much.
Not to be outdone, McKinney then named earthling Rosa Clemente, a hip-hop artist, as her vice presidential candidate. Clemente was immediately endorsed by M1. (Don't ask.)
Now both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have decided that if Georgia can provide the nation with two leading presidential candidates, why not a vice presidential candidates, too?
I find it significant that our highly respected former senior senator, Democrat Sam Nunn, endorsed Obama early on and has been seen with him at a number of political gatherings. Obama could do a lot worse than picking Nunn as his VP. The man knows more about national defense issues than just about anybody and certainly knows more than Obama, which isn't saying much.
The eyebrow raiser is that Gov. Sonny Perdue is said to be on McCain's short list of vice presidential candidates. McCain was reportedly blown away by Perdue's innovative "Go Fish, Georgia" program and the fact that while in office the governor gave an elephant a physical, something not even California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been willing to attempt.
As impressive as all of this is, let's not get our hopes up about having a Georgian in a leadership position in the next administration just yet. Somebody is bound to wake up and remember that Jimmy Carter came from Georgia. That could booger up everything. One President Peanut in Washington is enough for a lifetime.
If we lose out on this go-round, so be it. Georgia will still be the greatest state in the union. We will still have the mountains and the beaches, the oldest state-chartered university in the land, sweet Vidalia onions and lots of good barbecue. Plus the only governor who ever gave an elephant a physical.
Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and on gainesvilletimes.com; Web site.