Barack Obama has cut a new 60-second radio ad in support of former state Rep. Jim Martin's Senate campaign in Georgia. In the ad, which was obtained by The Fix moments ago, Obama thanks everyone who voted for him on November 4 and then adds: "The elections aren't over....I want to urge you to turn out one more time and help elect Jim Martin to the United States Senate."
A radio ad is not a personal visit by the president-elect but Martin's campaign will gladly take it.
It's good to see Barack Obama willing to put his name on the line, even if only in a radio spot rather than an actual campaign visit, on behalf of Jim Martin. He doesn't have to do it, but his willingness to do it underscores his determination to be a party builder. What's more, it's good to see Martin embracing Obama, which undercuts the notion that Obama or the Democratic brand are somehow weak in some areas of the country (notably the South).
The latest polling out of the race shows freshman Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss leading Martin, though narrowly, and this contest remains very much in play. But two weeks out from election day, the Martin campaign can really use our continued support. So if you can, head over to the MyDD Road to 60 Act Blue page and make a contribution to Martin's campaign efforts today.
Update [2008-11-20 19:15:47 by Jonathan Singer]:Josh Kraushaar has the audio.
Update [2008-11-20 20:30:48 by Jonathan Singer]: Here's the audio:
This isn't exactly the kind of speculation Norm Coleman likely wants to hear.
Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman is locked in a recount battle with comedian Al Franken to retain his seat.
But a Republican colleague of Mr. Coleman's on Wednesday floated his name as a potential chairman of the Republican National Committee.
"Somebody like Norm Coleman would be great," said the senator, speaking to a small group of reporters at a Capitol Hill steakhouse on the condition of anonymity.
The senator quickly clarified the statement by expressing hope and confidence that Mr. Coleman would emerge from the recount victorious over Mr. Franken, a Democrat who was on Capitol Hill Wednesday meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.
But the senator said that whoever the RNC chooses as its chairman, it should be someone with a national profile, preferably with experience as a governor, senator or congressman.
Al Franken is expressing cautious optimism about his chances, and there is reason to believe he has a realistic shot at making up the roughly 200 votes separating him from Coleman in the coming recount. It is likely this line of reason that is apparently leading some Republican elected officials to publicly ruminate about Coleman's future outside of the Senate. That said, recounts cost money, and Franken can use our support. So if you want to help out in the effort to reach 60 votes in the Senate, head over to the MyDD Road to 60 Act Blue page and make a contribution to his campaign today.
Begich's lead now stands at 1.18 percentage points, or 3,724 votes.
Update [2008-11-18 21:10:23 by Jonathan Singer]: The Associated Press has called the race for Begich. That makes seven pick ups, and 58 to 40 seat advantage for the Democrats in the Senate (with two races still yet to be decided).
Today's count out of Alaska shows Democrat Mark Begich's lead over incumbent Republican Senator Ted Stevens growing -- though still a bit short of the .5 percentage point lead necessary to forestall a mandatory potential recount.
Votes still remain to be counted, but from the last tally Begich's lead has grown from 814 votes to 1,061 1,022 votes, and from .29 percentage points to .36 .35 percentage points. The trend clearly looks good for Begich -- even the Stevens camp freely admits as much -- but here's to hoping Begich is able to clear that .5 percentage point mark so that this race can be settled relatively more quickly than it would if it went to a mandatorystate-funded recount.
Jeff Merkley, who last week defeated incumbent Republican Senator Gordon Smith in Oregon, has become the first newly elected Senator to use his campaign's email list to fundraise for Jim Martin in Georgia, a source involved in Democratic politics informs me. Here's a good chunk of the email, which I received from the Merkley campaign under the Senator-elect's name earlier this morning.
While the election is over in Oregon, it continues in Georgia. Jim Martin is locked in a tough runoff with Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss. We currently hold 57 seats in the U.S. Senate - just three shy of having enough votes to end the Republican obstructionism that has paralyzed the Senate over the past two years. We need to have Jim Martin in the Senate to work with President-elect Obama and me to fix our economy and make Washington work for working Americans.
Let me tell you a little more about Jim Martin: Jim is a Vietnam veteran who served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 18 years. He has been a leader on the issue of health care and has paid particular attention to expanding access to health care for Georgia's children. Jim Martin has never backed down from a tough fight and we need someone with his courage and compassion in the U.S. Senate.
I urge each and every one of you to join me in supporting Jim Martin's campaign.
If this is any indication of the type of Senator Merkley will be -- and I do believe it is -- then you can see why it was so important to us at MyDD to add him (as well as Martin) to the Road to 60 Act Blue page.
Merkley is a team-builder. I have seen this first-hand, with the then Oregon House Democratic leader helping his caucus pick up the majority for the first time in 16 years back in 2006. As a part of that effort, Merkley was more than willing to assist the clear underdog campaign I was working on that fall to unseat the then-House Majority Leader Wayne Scott, doing an event in the district and generally being helpful to the campaign.
Now, just a week and a half out from winning a close Senate election, Merkley is already putting his resources to bear to help his caucus and his party, fundraising for Martin in Georgia. Very impressive, indeed. If you, too, want to help out, head over to the Road to 60 page and make a contribution of your own to the cause.