Those in the know have long realized the 12th District representative has voted as a supposed "Blue Dog" moderate Democrat primarily as a means of survival in a largely conservative district. On major issues in which the Democratic leadership in Washington is pushing the country to the far left, Barrow has waited until the coast is clear -- in other words, until it's clear the Democrats have enough votes without him -- before voting against his party, in order to look good back home.
It's worked for him so far -- but the jig may now be up.
The Savannah Morning News -- which actually had endorsed him -- now reports that Barrow sent diametrically opposed mailers to different voters in the district saying, in one mailer, that he works "hand-in-hand" with Barack Obama -- and in the other one that he has "stood up to (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Washington."
The Savannah paper also notes Barrow is running an ad of Obama endorsing him -- but just on radio stations that target black audiences.
Tom Krause, a spokesman for Barrow's Republican opponent Ray McKinney, says Barrow's "I'm standing up to the Democrats" mailer went, not surprisingly, mostly to rural and independent voters.
Says the Savannah paper: "Barrow spokeswoman Jane Brodsky didn't deny that the mailings and the radio commercial targeted specific audiences. But Brodsky defended them, saying they show Barrow is independent and above party politics."
The newspaper also quotes Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock as saying Barrow's strategy -- if double-dealing can legitimately be called a strategy -- is risky, but shows that he thinks he's in good shape to be re-elected.
Not so fast, says The Wall Street Journal's John Fund -- who lists Georgia's 12th District as one of five possible upsets on Tuesday. Dismissing the 2008 Obama tidal wave, Fund notes that Barrow won election in 2004 and 2006 by the slimmest of margins: 52 percent and 50.3 percent, respectively.
That Mr. Barrow is two-faced has been revealed by his own hand. Why voters would reward that kind of disingenuous condescension is beyond us.
Either way, they'll get the kind of representation they deserve on Tuesday.