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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Air Loaf analyzes mid-term election prospects and Delta's descent

By Ken Edelstein

Emory political scientist Alan Abramowitz and Delta Air Lines critic Harry Nolan Jr. were my guests last weekend on Air Loaf, Atlanta's progressive radio talk show.

Abramowitz said Dems have a great chance to take back the U.S. House. But he isn't optimistic about big Democratic gains in Georgia. That's because Georgia's congressional lines seem to lock in a majority of Republican seats.

Also, Gov. Sonny Perdue, who'll be at the top of the ticket, has 60-plus percent approval ratings. His predecessor, Roy Barnes, actually tried to solve Georgia's problems Ñ remember education, transportation and the flag? But Perdue hasn't rocked the boat. That means the Democrat who gets the nomination (Secretary of State Cathy Cox or Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor) faces an uphill battle.

... except for the "R"-factor: Abramowitz agreed Republicans could be vulnerable if they nominated religious-right hypocrite Ralph Reed for lieutenant governor. Democrats could use him to wedge away suburban voters.

Nolan, a management consultant, wrote a book that argues Delta's tailspin was tied to bad management. He predicted for the first time on the show that AirTran would end up buying Delta.

But he said arrogant, out-of-touch boards and poor leadership aren't exclusive to Delta; they're basically a virus for corporate America. I was surprised a straight-laced disciple of management guru Peter Drucker called CEO salaries "crazy." To my delight, he pulled out "Fat Cats," Michael Wall's July 2005 CL cover story on Atlanta executive salaries. Seems like everyone is pissed about high CEO salaries Ñ except the CEOs.

This week's show: Georgia's Great Abortion Debate and an interview with transsexual Scott Turner Schofield, the subject of this week's CL cover story. 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. Check this blog later for details.

And listen to last week's show here:

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