Campaigning for Martin carries risks for Obama

Jeanne Cummings of The Politico writes about the Saxby Chambliss-Jim Martin runoff:

President-elect Barack Obama may risk some of his newly earned political capital in Georgia, where a Dec. 2 Senate runoff could move Democrats a step closer toward a filibuster-proof, 60-vote majority in the upper chamber.

Cummings, who was a reporter for the AJC in the early '90s, writes of "eerie similarities" between Obama's dilemma and President-elect Clinton campaigning in the 1992 runoff that Democratic Sen. Wyche Fowler lost against Paul Coverdell.

... Republicans crowed that it was a signal of Clinton’s already weakened political standing.

Clinton’s allies scoffed at the criticism, but it stung, all the same.

Clinton’s experience and the history of runoffs suggest that Obama’s safest course may be to keep some distance.

That could be one reason McCain's committed to campaign for Chambliss while Martin hasn't yet secured a visit from Obama. Then again, the president-elect's probably a bit more busy.

Obama may end up helping with support from his campaign's Internet lists and radio ads geared toward increasing black turnout in the runoff, rather than by stumping the state, according to one of Cummings' sources.

See the full story: "Senate runoff a test for Obama."

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