To help save a filibuster. Governor Sarah Palin, with barely any time to rest after a lightning campaign and election defeat earlier this month, is heading to Georgia to help incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss win a tight runoff against a Democratic challenger, Jim Martin:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is traveling back down to Georgia next Monday to do four last-minute campaign rallies in one day to help incumbent GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Chambliss is in an apparently close-fought runoff race there with Democrat Jim Martin and the balloting is the next day, Dec. 2. Big-name Democrats have jumped in to help the party reach for its 60-Senate-seat, filibuster-proof majority by knocking off yet another Republican incumbent.
Palin, who’s also been a successful party fundraiser, will do events for Chambliss from Augusta to Savannah to Perry and then Atlanta, probably just before the evening news on TV. What a coincidence in case any station wanted a live shot of the Republican celebrity!
This has significance both for Palin personally and the Republicans’ fortunes at a national level. With Alaska’s Ted Stevens going down to a well-deserved defeat (and likely prison) and Minnesota’s Norm Coleman struggling to survive against Al Franken in a recount, Chambliss represents part of a razor-thin potential two-seat edge keeping the Democrats from a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. If the Republicans aren’t to be reduced to complete nonentities over the next two years, they have to retain the Georgia seat. Chambliss’s edge is only 3% with 3% undecided, so he needs all the help he can get.
For Sarah Palin, this is her first test to see if she has any real future as Republican standard-bearer and possible 2012 nominee. She was a huge draw for the conservative base, frankly more popular with Republicans than her running-mate, John McCain. If she continues to pull those kinds of crowds and can translate their enthusiasm into votes for Chambliss, she’ll go a long way to fleshing out any claim she might make to be the Republican leader.
I hope she helps Chambliss retain her seat. I like this woman a lot.