So now that Saxby Chambliss has won and kept the Dems from their chimerical 60 seat super majority, the question is asked, why didn’t Obama campaign for Jim Martin?
1) Putting aside the talk of bipartisanship, Obama must have recognized that Chambliss was going to win. This was a run-off, not the general election, and black turnout (and turnout generally) was going to be down. Martin needed every ounce of Obama’s election day strength among blacks. He didn’t get it.
2) Whites were motivated. After all, this is Georgia. Obama is black. And it was clear that Chambliss potentially stood between Obama and a 60 seat Senate. Plus, Sarah Palin campaigned for him. Nothing gets the Christian right/populist segment of the GOP fired up like that ignorant jackass.
3) Being associated with a loss, especially before he even takes office, doesn’t help him or the Dems. Right now, Obama can legitimately claim a broad mandate. With a loss in Georgia that he personally campaigned for, his aura would have been diminished somewhat.
Altogether this was the right move for Obama and the Dems. It was a good fight but an uphill battle, and Martin lost. The Dems will be wise to move on and forget whatever second-guesses they will be tempted to make.
Obama, truth be told, wouldn’t have made a difference.