Listen closely and you can almost hear Ray crooning: “Georgia, Georgia / The whole day through / Just an old sweet song / Keeps Georgia on my mind.” Well, it’s either Ray Charles or Old Man Winter; I can’t decide.
Forecasters say not one but two winter storms are bearing down on the Southeast. That is bad news for the folks in Atlanta, who are just getting over Snowgeddon, in which a little more than 2 inches of the white stuff turned the city’s roads into parking lots and its Piggly Wigglys into motels.
Now, it’s easy to make fun of the good ol' boys and girls in the Deep South. But Southern Californians can’t afford to be too condescending, not when we often find ourselves caught in hours-long traffic jams at the mere hint of rain. If it ever snows in Los Angeles, “The Walking Dead” will seem like a documentary.
These approaching storms may not bring snow to the South this time; instead, forecasters are concerned about ice. Some places are reportedly salting the roads ahead of the storms, just in case. (It could also be that the workers want to get the salt down now so they don’t have to do it in the cold. Just sayin’.)
All of which makes this just an interesting weather story -- except that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is up for reelection this year. Which means his political career may hinge on him being the, dare I say it, New Deal.
In other words, Sherman may have burned Atlanta, but Jack Frost could torch Nathan Deal.
All politics may be local, but for many mayors and governors, all politics appear to be traffic-related. Think Chris Christie. Oh yeah, think Chris Christie big-time (sorry, no pun intended). Think angry Angelenos when President Obama visits, tying up Westside traffic. (Though this is a hyper-local political issue, because he really visits only the Westside, so the rest of us don’t care.) Think Jerry Brown and his bullet train to nowhere.
Mayors and governors, then, seemingly have two big jobs: Keep traffic moving, and everything else. Even those pesky potholes are traffic-related. Red staters may not like big government, but they sure want it to get the little things right.
So the world (and especially CNN, which last time threatened to turn the snowstorm story into a remake of its Iraq war coverage) will be watching. Will it be “The Day After Tomorrow” or perhaps “Groundhog Day” in Georgia, or will it be “Much Ado About Nothing”?
It’s all up to you now, Gov’ner Deal. If the crick don’t rise and the devil doesn’t come down to Georgia and allow hell to freeze over, you may be whistlin’ “Dixie” come November.
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