Don’t know if you heard, but we got a new president. They had something about it on TV earlier this week.
Apparently he’s a pretty popular dude, but if I remember correctly he lost our fair state by a couple hundred thousand votes or so. Returns in Hall County were even less favorable, percentage-wise.
So in the name of supporting our new commander-in-chief in his efforts to take Georgia’s 15 electoral votes in the 2012 campaign — which will be kicking off sometime in May if current trends are any indication — I humbly submit the following cabinet nominations.
Mr. President, the first thing you’re going to need to do to in the Peach State is secure the “Bulldog base.”
Sure, you could single-handedly solve the credit crisis, bring a pair of foreign wars to satisfactory conclusion, squelch global terrorism, even abolish the BCS and we’d all be impressed. But college football is a pretty big deal around here, and if you do all that wearing an orange tie or ever get spotted doing the “Gator chomp,” well, it’s going to be an uphill climb for you in these parts.
To that end, I nominate Georgia coach Mark Richt for Secretary of State.
This is a highly visible position, perfect for the state’s most popular man. And not only is Richt almost universally liked and admired, he’s a natural charmer. If he can go into South Alabama living rooms and convince lifelong Auburn fans to come play football in Athens, those foreign heads of state will be putty in his hands.
Of equal importance will be your choice for Secretary of Defense. We’re big on that stuff around here — wins championships, they say.
Probably going to need to get away from UGA for this one, though, since Bulldogs defensive coordinator Willie Martinez has an approval rating hovering in the Hillary Clinton range these days.
Instead, go with Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder. Not only does he have the track record after scheming his way to an 11-win season around a shortage of talent last year in Atlanta, he’s also got valuable Bulldog cred. By Georgia fans’ measure, he’s the next best thing to Erk Russell thanks to a highly successful four-year stint in the Classic City.
For Secretary of the Treasury, stay with the suddenly popular Falcons and their general manager wiz, Thomas Dimitroff.
Not only does he know how to get the most bang for his buck, but turnarounds are his thing. With the U.S. economy languishing in recession, who better to manage government revenue than the guy who took what was the NFL’s most dysfunctional franchise and made it into a playoff team.
By now, it’s time to find a spot for Braves manager Bobby Cox, the elder statesman of Georgia sports. Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs sounds like a good spot, since every old guy in Major League Baseball lauds the Cox experience. And considering his experience dealing with the aged arms he’s been dealt in recent years, this seems like a natural fit.
Another thing you’ll need to know, Mr. President, is that if there’s any way for Georgia Tech fans to feel slighted, they will, and you’re sure to hear about it in the ballot box (and your inbox).
To curb that, install Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson as your Secretary of Education.
His approach might be odd, but he’s got a system that works and he knows how to teach it. Public education might bristle at his methods like a Yellow Jacket wide receiver, but when those winning (test) scores start rolling in, all will be forgiven.
If that doesn’t do the trick, rename the Heisman trophy the John Heisman-former-coach-of-Georgia-Tech trophy, and you should be good to go.
That ought to sew it up here. No need for a thank you card (those are pretty big around here too), but it would score me some points with my wife if I could get an invitation to one of those black-tie parties y’all throw up there.
Just remember, if you ever find yourself slipping in polls, sneak in a jab on Philip Fulmer. Or if all else fails, ship Steve Spurrier to Gitmo.
Pull that one off and they’ll be rallying for a third term on Peachtree Street.