Michelle Nunn, the Elizabeth Colbert Busch of 2014

by Jim Geraghty

As noted below, Georgia Democrats are quite excited about Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, as their standard-bearer in this year’s Senate race. Apparently Nunn will run this year attempting to have no position on Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. After being asked whether she would have voted for Obamacare, Nunn responds, “I wished that we had more people who had tried to architect a bipartisan legislation. . . . I think it’s impossible to look back retrospectively and say what would you have done if you were there.”

Let’s put aside her attempt to turn “architect” into a verb.

Really? It’s impossible?

The Morning Joe crowd were unimpressed.

This is reminiscent of Elizabeth Colbert Busch, another woman with a famous relative, running in a heavily Republican corner of the South and attempting to run away from the rest of the party. In 2013, Colbert Busch, sister of the famous television comedian, ran in South Carolina’s first congressional district. Democrats and their allies spent $2 million . . . and Colbert Busch lost by nine points to former governor Mark Sanford. Colbert-Busch flopped in her first national interview, back in late February, offering a barely coherent word salad on pretty basic issues like reducing the debt and entitlement reform. She refused to say whether she would vote for Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House. She didn’t take questions at most of her events; Sanford was eager to do as many debates as possible and she agreed to only one.

Colbert Busch had to run from the word “Democrat,” and had to cite a childhood sighting of John F. Kennedy for the reason she’s in the party. Her “issue-free campaign” was noted in the local press, but the national press seemed blinded by the glamour of being associated with one of their favorite comedians.

We’ll see if Michelle Nunn is any better on the trail. But for now, she’s using the same playbook that Colbert Bush used — and lost using.

UPDATE: Dave Weigel notes that Nunn’s fuller answer to the MSNBC did offer a bit more detail, suggesting adding “a tax credit for small businesses. And I also think we need to repeal the cuts to rural hospitals as a result of our state not expanding Medicaid.” He concludes, “In short, Nunn did dodge the question. But she went into some practiced detail about the ways she wanted to change the law, and she confirmed that she wouldn’t vote for repeal.”

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