If you woke up this morning tired of not donating to a candidate facing a crucial election, here's one for you. Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss is potentially in a runoff with Jim Martin. You may recall when Saxby managed to conflate war hero Senator Max Cleland with Osama Bin Laden in this ad:
He's now featuring 9/11 footage in his new ad, not that there's a clear path yet to how he will conflate Democratic candidate Jim Martin with the attacks.
It's bound to get worse, since the attack dog wing of the Republican party is bored enough to go after their own Vice Presidential choice. The voters targeted by both of the ads above are so low information they make Sarah Palin look like Alistair Cooke. It's the demographic that consistently fell for creepy emails about Obama and the end of days, although you'd think they'd be bigger fans of bringing on the rapture. Getting the truth out there is the only way to combat this.
The Georgia runoff will not just be about the chance to win one more seat in the Senate, it will be about winning the most crucial seat. A Martin win could give the Obama administration a veto / filibuster-proof majority as it gets to work on repairing the economic meltdown, ending the war in Iraq and restoring our international reputation as a nation. If you saw today's press conference, the President Elect is already inspiring confidence with his impressive team of financial advisers and, for an Illinois history wonk, his shout out to Lincoln.
So when Al Franken becomes Senator of Minnesota after the mandatory recount, when Mark Begich defeats convicted felon Ted Stevens to become Senator of Alaska, there is one runoff that will help get the Democratic Party to 60 in the Senate. True, Sen. Joe Lieberman may flip to the right, but it's not too early to call dibs on Sen. Chuck Hagel. Maybe Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will give him a Chicago-style pep talk. By the way, is it just me or has Hagels' hair been looking great lately? [Gaffe alert: Since that wouldn't help as his term is about to end, a commenter below also suggests Maine Senators Collins and Snowe or Dick Lugar. But I really do like Hagel's hair].
No matter which senator goes for a switch, the Democratic Party does not achieve 60 without Martin winning, and the incumbent has a major war-chest to utilize. A source told the Huffington Post's Sam Stein that Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee all are likely to campaign to bring Saxby back.
For the opposition, Justin Timberlake could rewrite "Bringing Sexy Back," as "Not Bringing Saxby Back," and R.E.M., President Elect Obama and a potential grass roots war chest will bolster the effort. Georgia's native sons are actively asking for support for Jim Martin in the runoff.
R.E.M. Manager Bertis Downs writes:
"It is the only race left in our global village. As longtime friends and supporters of Jim Martin, we urge anyone not already involved in his campaign to check out his information and consider donating -- he will be outspent by the Republicans, but with the ground game and momentum generated so far, maybe just maybe prevail in the runoff (and he was 20 points down in the polls a few weeks ago)!..."
Martin himself writes:
"Saxby Chambliss has promised to do everything he can to stop Barack Obama from succeeding. We face the biggest challenges of the past 60 years - let's work together to solve them. In the Senate I'll do what's best for Georgia, what's best for this country, and what's best for the middle class who've been ignored the past eight years."
Politico posted, "John McCain will be campaigning for Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) in the all-but-assured runoff against Democrat Jim Martin next month, according to Chambliss' campaign." [emphasis added].
So if you woke up this morning tired of not donating to grass roots campaigns, here's a link to the most important one left in the ground game:
Martin for Senate.
UPDATE: This is posted on the Palmetto Scoop so take it for what you will, but they're running with it: "We're setting up our entire field team again," said one emboldened Obama staffer in Ohio. "I'm coming to Georgia and bringing several hundred of my friends with me."
Follow Karen Dalton-Beninato on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kbeninato