The implications of Obama’s 50-state campaign in Georgia
Jonathan Singer at MyDD and Matt Yglesias offer up some terrific commentary on Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny’s look at Obama’s plans for a nationwide push into GOP strongholds in the next few weeks. Georgia promises to be a particularly interesting case.
Popular (in Georgia) former Republican Congressman Bob Barr is now the Libertarian presidential candidate, with early polls showing him taking enough votes to give Democrats a shot here. And we’ve got a large African American population who we can expect will turn out in large numbers for Obama.
But the Civil Rights establishment, including John Lewis and Andrew Young, were early and ardent Clinton supporters. For it, Lewis now faces primary challenges. Here’s the AJC’s Jim Galloway on the implications of an Obama visit to Georgia:
When Lewis’ opponents, pastor/activist Markel Hutchins and state Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas, entered the race against the Civil Rights war horse, they specifically cited the Atlanta congressman’s tardy switch from Clinton to Obama this winter.
An Obama who embraces Lewis would seriously weaken the emotional underpinning of their challenges. Asked if the Democratic nominee would endorse him, Lewis replied, “There’s not any doubt. I would love to have his support, I would love to have his endorsement.”
In a sense, the congressman said, Obama has already given it. “In his last book, he said he had three heroes. One was Martin Luther King Jr., the other one was Abe Lincoln — and John Lewis,” said Hero No. 3.
This spring, Lewis said, he has called Obama “from time to time” to encourage the candidate. The last time was after Obama resigned from his Chicago church. The two have swapped voice mail, but haven’t connected lately.
But when Obama sets foot in this state, which his national campaign now considers in play, Lewis will be there to greet him. “As the senior member of the Georgia delegation, I couldn’t be any place else,” he said.
This raises another factor in Lewis’ favor. A part of Obama’s strategy must now be geared toward governing, should he win in November. One does not cultivate Congress by ignoring one of its more senior members.
While Georgia is the state the professional prognosticators are telling us is the most in play, I continue to believe that what is true for Georgia is true for other states too! Maybe those professionals do not know quite as much as they say they do.
Social science and polling and statistics have been known to be wrong, so I will watch in wonder and intense eager amazement as events unfold this election season. It’s been a wild ride so far, and mainstream American has yet to tune in…
RELATED: I was a Hillary supporter who followed Lewis to Obama. I was moved in part by this video. In it, Lewis explains that his decision to support Obama over Clinton was tougher than marching across the bridge in Selma.