Did Democrats really have Georgia on their minds?
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It is now one week after the special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. Hopes were high that the Democrats would pick up a seat in a place where Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE had come within 1.5 points of defeating Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE in the presidential election of 2016.

The district was suburban, affluent and best of all for Dems, well-educated. The Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff raised tons of money $25 million, and even more was poured in by outside groups supporting his candidacy.

In the first round of this race he almost won the seat. He needed to get 50 percent. He got 48 percent.

His Republican opponent Karen Handel was way back with a measly 17 percent.

What happened?

How did Ossoff lose it?


There are a few reasons given (Nancy Pelosi - Republicans coming home), but one rises above all the rest. Jon Ossoff did not live in the district he sought to represent. This "little" fact yells out for attention and comment.


Worse for the National Democratic Party brand it starkly reflects their colossal character flaw — arrogance.

How arrogant can you get?

You seek to be the congressman for over 700,000 people but you refuse to live in the district. You would think that after the first round, on April 18, when you were so roundly and repeatedly criticized for this fact, that you would immediately remedy the situation and solve the problem by moving into the district.

But no, Ossoff continued to ignore this legitimate criticism and said to all those who lived in the district and were eligible to vote a big, loud — I will not move.

Did Ossoff not think it strange that on election day he could not even vote for himself? How about if he had lost the election on June 20th by 1 vote. 

Who would he blame?

Only one person.


The excuse and justification given was that he was living with his fiancée and that would disrupt her life.

This reason is absurd.

On April 19th, one day after the first round he could have moved into a suitable space in his main campaign headquarters in the district. He could have proudly proclaimed he was "living in the back of the store."

Failing that move, I'm very certain that one of the 12,000 volunteers he claimed to have working on his behalf would have gladly offered a spare bedroom or couch. 

Now the question should be rightly asked if the candidate himself did not have the smarts or common sense to make this important and crucial move. 

Where were the two Democratic National Party leaders who should have been persuading him to correct this stupid stance.

First, the leader of the Party, Chairman Tom Perez. Perez should have picked up the phone or better yet, traveled to the district and confront Ossoff directly and tell him in person that he should live in the district. Did he do either of these things?

Repeated efforts to ask Perez have met with no returned call or response from National Democratic Party officials.

How about the chair of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Ben Ray Luján. His major and only job is to elect more Democrats to Congress. No response from Luján either. His press aide Tyler Law suggested I look into how many other Congressmen don't live in the district.

I guess the official position of the DCCC is that Ossoff's decision not to live in the district should be replicated by all aspiring or incumbent Democratic Congressmen. A sure fire method of electoral success.

I do not know whether Ossoff's change of residence would have propelled him to victory. I do know this for certain - that not living in the district was never given by one voter for voting for him.

Ossoff was running in a district which the previous incumbent Tom Price had won by 23 points in 2016. Before that, the seat had been held for 20 years by Newt Gingrich. The district didn't have a Democratic representative in over 40 years.

My point, the odds were tough enough, why give your opponent free ammunition?

No, Ossoff, Perez and Luján signaled to the voters of the 6th District of Georgia, we don't give a damn. And the voters responded in kind.

Hubris above all, carried the day.

Mark Plotkin is a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner. Previously, he was the political analyst for WAMU-FM, Washington's NPR affiliate, where he co-hosted the "D.C. Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He later became the political analyst for WTOP-FM, Washington's all-news radio station, where he hosted "The Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He is a winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in writing.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.