Just ignore any so-called “conventional wisdom” when it comes to Obama and the Georgia Senate race




Of course the conventional wisdom-mongers think it’s bad for Obama to go to Georgia to campaign for Jim Martin. Of course, they do. But, it doesn’t matter what they think because Obama is constantly redefining the conventional wisdom. And, Obama is always so far ahead of the punditocracy, it’s amusing.

Cillizza explored the issue today:

For Obama, it may not make sense to head to Georgia as it would be painted by Republicans — rightly, so — as a partisan act inconsistent with the president-elect’s post-partisan message. And, if Martin winds up losing, which conventional wisdom suggests he will, then some of Obama’s luster will have worn off before he even takes the oath of office.

Rightly, so? Give me a break. Lest we forget, all those Republicans engage in partisan acts every single day. For Christ sakes, the RNC already started trashing Eric Holder, which Cillizza’s paper deemed worthy of page 3 article. So, the GOP launches partisan attacks on Obama’s nominees and that’s okay. But it’s somehow wrong for Obama to campaign for a Democratic Senator. I just love when political writers intimate that there is something wrong with politicians being politicians. What’s Obama got to fear? That David Broder will echo the complaints of the Republicans who say Obama is being too partisan. Who cares? What do they want Obama to do? Endorse Chambliss?

Obama actually has political capital. If he can help Martin, he should. But, it should be a sheer political calculation based on insuring the passage of the Obama agenda with that 60th Senate vote:

But, with Democrats currently holding 58 seats, Sen. Norm Coleman’s (Minn.) margin over entertainer Al Franken narrowing and polls showing Martin within shouting distance, the pressure on Obama to make a visit to get Democrats to 60 seats in the 111th Congress is sure to increase.

“When you’re President of the United States it pays to remember who your friends are,” said one senior Democratic operative granted anonymity to speak candidly about the president-elect. “Thinking Barack Obama has anything to risk by campaigning for Jim Martin is like most conventional wisdom — just plain wrong.”

It is just plain wrong.

If Obama can help, he should. And, he probably will in many ways. What matters is having the votes to pass the agenda for change that the American people are expecting. We are much more likely to see that with Jim Martin in the U.S. Senate than Saxby Chambliss. And, while that may not comport with the purveyors of the conventional wisdom, it’s all that counts.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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