The nation focuses on the senate runoff election in Georgia between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin. Of course, the big question is “Will the African American community come back out to vote with Obama not being on the ballot?” Another question is “Does President-Elect Obama have the power to persuade the Democrats to return to the polls for the runoff?”
The Georgia senate runoff election has various angles and factors that should be considered. I was always an African American for Saxby—which puzzles his GOP base. People vote for and against candidates for different reasons. Saxby experience on agriculture, military bases and other issues of interest to Georgia is reason enough to keep growing his seniority. People vote their regional concerns and Saxby is the only member of the Georgia congressional delegation who lives in the southern part of our state. On regional concerns, I never would have thought that Blue Dog Democrat Jim Marshall would receive 44,000 votes in Bibb County, Georgia, while not endorsing Barrack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Basically, the people of Macon said they are with their former mayor Marshall despite his attitude about Obama. That was big of Macon and the same can be said for Democrat Sanford Bishop pulling 69% of the vote and Republican Jack Kingston getting 66%. Marshall, Bishop and Kingston clearly enjoy crossover appeal after years of service.
Jim Martin is a respectable guy but I am still troubled that the Democratic establishment convinced him to run because they did not think African American Vernon Jones was worthy. They turned their hoses up at Jones because he voted for President Bush during the aftermath of 911. It just occurred to me that Vernon Jones would be a better runoff candidate against Saxby because Vernon has a knowledge of agriculture, is more conservative than Martin and could get the African American voters back out without riding Obama’s coattails.
Am I the only person in Georgia who remembers that Jim Martin voted for John Edwards and not Barrack Obama during the primary? Speculation is high that the big guns (Obama, McCain, Palin, the Clintons) will be in our state for this runoff. Let me say this in no uncertain terms: If you voted for Sanford Bishop or Jim Marshall, Saxby Chambliss is closer to them politically than Jim Martin. Republicans don’t want to hear it but moderates appreciate Georgia Senators Chambliss and Isakson efforts to work across the aisle on the Farm Bill, the energy plan and other matters.
Consider this: maybe the moderate and conservative African American community should gain some crossover clout by giving Saxby our support. In return, all I want is fair debate on the issue for the new White House—the same consideration that the Blue Dogs Democrats gave President Bush. November is going to be awkward in the peach state because Congressmen Bishop, Barrow, Marshall and maybe Scott don’t really want to campaign against their aggie friend Saxby. Jim Marshall will be fine because President Obama will find a position for him in the administration.