Now that Republican Saxby Chambliss clobbered Jim Martin in the Georgia runoff, the Democrats can’t get to their magical 60 vote threshold in the Senate. More on that in a moment but what strikes me as interesting is the fact that Barack Obama never campaigned for Jim Martin in Georgia.
While Chambliss was bringing in GOP heavyweights like Palin, Huckabee and Romney, Jim Martin begged for Obama to campaign with him in person. It never happened. Instead, Martin got rapper Ludacris to campaign with him instead. Lovely.
It make sense that Obama never went down to Georgia. Obama is a smart guy. He knows when he needs to invest some of his political capital and the Georgia runoff was a no win situation. First of all, the calculation was clearly that Martin had an uphill fight so why damage the Obama brand by taking the change of going down there only to see that you didn’t make a difference? Plus, Obama needs to be seen as the bi-partisan guy. To get involved in a Georgia runoff at this crucial time when he’s trying to garner goodwill with Republicans would have been politically disastrous.
Now, as for the victory by Chambliss, it’s significant in the sense that it denies the Democrats of 60 votes in the Senate but let’s be realistic. The last time I checked there were plenty of GOP moderates out there for Harry Reid and the boys to lobby. Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, George Voinovich, John McCain and some others. So this magical 60 number is still attainable on certain pieces of legislation, especially in the first 100 days honeymoon period.
Read the Chambliss/Martin runoff story here.