Saxby’s decline

Insider Advantage has an article on the decline of Saxby Chambliss:

What went wrong with Saxby Chambliss’ campaign that his lead in a race he was expected to win handily now is within the margin of error in polling? Some Republicans already are blaming strategist Tom Perdue for an effort they claim lacked luster, organization and vision. Perdue, who acknowledged Wednesday that a runoff is “a possibility,” said the forces at play in this election were beyond anyone’s control.

“It has nothing to do with (Democrat) Jim Martin,” said Perdue. “Anybody who was on the ballot would be where he is right now.”

When the year began, no one took Chambliss’ re-election task very seriously, and, indeed, Democrats had a hard time coming up with a “name” candidate to put forward against him. One of them had such a tough time gaining traction that he hauled himself up a tower in the dead of winter to attract attention.

But this has been anything but a conventional year in national politics, and the battle for Chambliss’ seat has been exactly the same.

Check out the alarmist rhetoric that Perdue pushes here:

“Nobody knew that within 36 hours banks were going to start failing around the world, and that’s what happened. And for roughly 10 days, not only our country, but most of the countries in the world, were in free fall. And our campaign momentum came to almost a stop. And that’s when the national Democrats capitalized on it, and that’s when they took control of the Martin campaign,” the strategist said.

That is so over the top. That’s why the federal government is bailing out banks that are in no financial trouble at all.

Perdue is catching part of the heat for the poor campaign Chambliss has run. He turned down help from the RSCC and the ads have been ineffective. According to the article, unidentified Republicans sources say it looks like Perdue is running a “running a bad state House race,” calling it “embarrassing campaign.” But check out these two comments:

“Saxby’s reputation is that he’s spent six years in Washington playing golf. He’s gone on lots of trips. He hasn’t done the down-and-dirty constituent work.
“Saxby bragged about it his first four years – how much golf he was getting in. It was a real problem and it irked a lot of people.”

Wow. Must be nice. If I were Martin and Buckley, I would hammer that in Sunday’s debate and begin running ads with it.

IA closes the article with this comment from Perdue:

As for Chambliss’ affinity for the links, he said, “Saxby’s not played golf in this campaign – at least to my knowledge, he hasn’t. He’s worked as hard this race as in 2002. Where he’s catching the criticism from is from some who don’t feel he really should work with the Democrats – remember the “Gang of 10” and then the “Gang of 20” – to lower the price of oil.”

Part of the Gang of 10 proposal (same as the Gang of 20) was a $30 billion tax increase on oil companies. Where do Tom Perdue and Sen. Saxby Chambliss think that increase was going to go? It would have been paid for by consumers with increased prices.

Disclosure: Jason Pye is on staff with Bob Barr 2008 and is a member of the Libertarian Party of Georgia Executive Committee.


  1. Icarus says:

    “Some Republicans already are blaming strategist Tom Perdue for an effort they claim lacked luster, organization and vision. ”

    Add me to that list. With the fundraising advantage that Saxby started with, it is embarassing that Jim Martin was on TV first, and when Saxby did get on TV, his first few weeks of ads were 6-year-old B Roll with circus music in the background.

  2. Doug Deal says:

    I would place a large amount of the blame on a certain Senate vote about a month or so ago. That alone cost two votes in my household. My wife was so mad, she is voting for Martin in the runoff.

  3. GAR says:

    With all due respect Jason I think that this is unfair to Tom Purdue. I agree with him that the national financial crisis is the only reason that Martin is running as well as he has, and thats only at 39% according to the latest Mason Dixon poll. Any incumbent is going to face some type of backlash this season. From the events I’ve been at with Saxby, the support he enjoys is still enthusiastic.

  4. Truthteller says:

    Saxby has surrounded himself with yes-men and has-beens.

    Let’s do nominations for the worst-run campaigns of 2008 in Georgia. I nominate this one.

    The worst TV quality, bar none. The state house guy in my district is doing better quality. They have undoubtedly the dumbest direct mail, and absolutely no visible grassroots effort to speak of.

    Some of this can be blamed on Saxby. But that campaign team has put together some really ineffective stuff.

  5. ramblinwreck says:

    I’m sure the fact that he voted for just about every expansion of government during the last 6 years had nothing to do with it, did it? The bailout was just the straw that broke the backs of a lot of camels.

    I’ve heard the comment that his constituents sent him there to vote his conscience. He may be right but now that I know that his conscience and view of the role of government is so out of phase with what I believe why should I vote to send him back?

  6. I know college students who could manage a campaign better. Saxby was sitting on a pile of money, and from the way they have run things I’m guessing 90% of was spent on paying Perdue.

    Fire him and your Chief of Staff.

  7. SavannahDem says:

    There doesn’t seem to be much ground presence here in Chatham Co. by Saxby.

    Everyone puts up 4×4 signs all around (the more illegal the better it seams), but Saxby has very, very few. There are probably more Vernon Jones signs up in Chatham Co. than Saxby has up.

    Not good.

    That said, I haven’t seen a poll with a Martin lead, but I wonder:

    1 – are the polls “wrong” based on new voters and AA turnout?

    2 – if the polls are not off, will Martin be able to force a run-off?

    So, let’s say there is a run-off. Well, that favors Saxby, right?

    But, what if the Obama organization stays in place with DSCC money? The voter file they are using is a DNC file that Martin can use. Would Obama campaigning in GA help or hurt Martin?

    Do angry R’s flock to the polls or do disheartened R’s stay home on Dec. 2?

    Lots of open questions in my mind. This is going to be interesting to watch.

  8. cheapseats says:

    The Chambliss campaign may well be one of the worst run in the business but it’s going to be hard to beat out the top-of-the-ticket worst campaign I’ve ever seen: McCain-Palin

    I’ve always like McCain – a lot of Democrats liked McCain. We still like the McCain he once was (and probably still is) but this newly minted version is not someone I can admire. And, Palin?! Really?! She’s Ted Stevens in a dress. Give her a couple of more years and she’ll break all Stevens’ records for corruption – she’s just getting started.

    But, back to Chambliss. The guy was never anything but a hack and only got elected the first time because of the intense Red-ness of Georgia. We’re still pretty Red so, he’ll probably go back to the Senate and Georgians will have 6 more of years of shame. This is God’s way of punishing us for blind partisanship.

  9. Icarus says:

    I’m going to make an attempt at an editorial decision and try to refocus this thread on Saxby and his campaign.

    I’ll put up a separate thread for “Worst Campaign of 2008” nominations.

    As for this thread:

    Are Saxby’s problems the result of uncontrollable events, his vote for the bailout, or (and?) the horrible, bordering on criminally negligent job, that Tom Perdue has done?

  10. hottytoddy says:

    “Fire him and your Chief of Staff.”

    Ronald—Chief of Staff has nothing to do with campaigns, tonto.

    I guess that if we took a sample of PeachPundit visitors, we would find that they would rather “take their chances” for 6 terrible years under Jim Martin? Saxby isn’t the greatest we have ever had, I admit, but damn it people, he is a hell of a lot better than Martin and his liberal antics.

    If you think Saxby has been a yes-man for Bush, just imagine what how much Martin will be kissing Obama’s ass.

    Doug- Here’s a scenario. Let’s say (God forbid) Obama wins on Tuesday. The GA Senate race is in a runoff to be held in early December. Democrats have 59 seats in the Senate, and Saxby-Martin is the back breaker for a filibuster proof Senate. Do you still vote for Martin?

  11. IndyInjun says:

    Before there was even a bailout, Saxby voted for the biggest social spending program in 40 years, for NCLB, for pork-laden farm, transportation, and energy bills, was leaning toward amnesty and that ban on drilling, until the last 2 issues turned up the heat.

    These travesties alone warrant throwing this bum out.

    Then came the bailout, in which 90%+ of constitutents were demanding/begging/ pleading for him to return to conservatism and VOTE NO. Many of us pointed out – WE READ THE BILL – that the money and lattitude granted to the Sec. Treasury were unlimited. Since then, ‘poor’ Saxby has had to write a letter protesting that bailout funds are being used to pay bonuses to the banksters and Wall Street con artists.

    If this gets to a run-off, I am going hyperactive in an effort to see Saxby Chambliss GONE.

    We will NEVER take back the GOP until we do this.

    A campaign staff cannot help it when their candidate tells the public “Up yours.”

  12. slyram says:

    First of all, Saxby is good people on a personal level. I never liked calling members by their first name but he insists on that Joe Frank Harris style. Secondly, senators serve for longer periods of time; time enough to develop relationships with sub-groups inside the other party and insulate themselves against opposition.

    Half of our blog Project Logic Ga was a blueprint to the Black community for Saxby. For the sake of full disclosure, my best friend is an African American ag lobbyist in D.C. and he really appreciates the work that the Georgia delegation did on the Farm Bill. My first supervisor on the House side is management in the Senator’s office. So, I want to see Saxby stay in office and I am a moderate Dem.

    In my opinion, there were/are golden opportunities to appeal the Black voters but their strategy did not include that and I can respect that. But look at history; southern senators have towed the party line yet developed a connection with the Black community; when election time rolls around, people remember that casework, the staffer at the church event, and support for the Black college. Senator Strom Thurmond’s long relationship with South Carolina State University produced a radiating network of Black supporters who were in his corner.

    Members of Congress should recognize the surrogate staff concept. James Bush in Albany is a former deputy, veteran and African American who loves to work a room. While Bush’s congressman boss was comfortable himself with a range of people, Bush would be everywhere while the member was handling things in D.C. Again, election time rolls around and people remember that Bush was always a phone call away. I should add that we did excellent casework. Note: my community likes good casework as much as legislation. (ie. military pay, vet concerns, problems with the USDA and Social Security.)

    Saxby will be okay.

  13. Progressive Dem says:

    Icarus has presented a limited set of reasons for Saxby’s demise.

    Saxby’s consistent allignment with the Bush administration is also costing him votes. Polling is showing that female suburban voters are going Democratic this year in much larger numbers than previous cycles. So it isn’t just the inept campaign, the bailout or “uncontrolable events”. It is also a reflection on the failure of the Republicans to effectively govern.

  14. Icarus says:

    Icarus made no attempt to explain “Saxby’s demise”, which is still a bit premature to declare.

    Icarus’ point is that when you start out with over $5 million banked against a candidate who can’t raise money, then allow them to get on TV first and define you, you wait weeks to respond and then respond with old ads and circus music, your consultant has failed you.

  15. Tinkerhell says:

    All the above, his voting record is horrible as far as many Republicans are concerned, he voted for the bail out, his camp consultant failed, the Republicans in general have been failing, he’s an incumbent – what’s Congresses approval rating right now?

    Everything seems stacked against him.
    He will still probably win in a runoff. I’m hoping a runoff will maybe be a wake up call for him. It’s about the only hope I’ve got since the Republicans won’t run a better candidate. *sigh* once again I’ll end up voting for the lesser evil. I really have voting for the lesser evil. I’m soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    tired of doing that.

  16. Progressive Dem says:

    Agreed, it is premature to write him off. He is odds on favorite to win, but you were offering a limited set of reasons why his campaign is faltering. One of those reasons is he is an incumbent Republican who has been a reliable lackey for Bush/Cheney.

  17. Dash Riptide says:

    “He will still probably win in a runoff.”

    The surprise winner of a Senate runoff may well be… Tamela Adkins.

  18. Icarus says:

    “you were offering a limited set of reasons why his campaign is faltering. ”

    One more time PD. No, I was not. There are a lot of reasons his campaign is faltering. I’m not attempting in any way to offer a full or limited set of reasons why.

    I’m merely pointing out that when you have a $5 million head start and the other guy can’t raise money, the other stuff shouldn’t matter if you run the right campaign. Perdue didn’t. And he left Saxby on the ropes for weeks before he started any kind of credible response to Martin. Frankly, the outside ads have been much more helpful to Saxby than his own.

  19. Rick Day says:

    Don’t ya wish Suxby was running against The Snuggles ™ right about now?

    And you guys worked SO HARD to keep The Snuggles ™ under your white thumbs.

    Now you got three white guys running, with not a spits of difference between them (except maybe Buckley has no qualification to be representin’ in the Senate).

    Snuggles ™ v Chambliss. How would that have played out?

    I smell crow pie baking. Yum!

  20. slyram says:

    Indy: you might be right. Down here in south Georgia we like aggies–Black and White.

    The Cotton guys have a half page in the Albany paper today–good points. You know that the farm land is taxed and that supports the local school systems. Bishop has been good at pointing out that everyone wants a safe and affordable food supply and that the econmic backbone of the region is ag.

  21. John Konop says:

    Chambliss: “The Other Folks Are Voting”?

    HP-Via John Cole, the Politico reports on Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ candid assessment of what motivates Republicans in his state:

    The Republican is outwardly confident, but there’s urgency in his voice as he tours North Georgia, trying to boost turnout in his predominately white base: “The other folks are voting,” he bluntly tells supporters.

    Just in case anyone was confused about who those “other folks” are, Chambliss gave this quote New York Times:

    The development is not lost on Mr. Chambliss. “There has always been a rush to the polls by African-Americans early,” he said at the square in Covington, a quick stop on a bus tour as the campaign entered its final week. He predicted the crowds of early voters would motivate Republicans to turn out. “It has also got our side energized, they see what is happening,” he said.

  22. IndyInjun says:

    When they get their 401k statements, ‘his side’ becomes ‘their side.’

    Seriously, how are y’all going to feel about putting this crook back in office in 6 months when it is revealed that the ‘safe’ options in just about every 401k in the land is chock FULL of CDO’s and insurance contracts worth 10 cents on the dollar, knowing that the biggest financial fraud in history was aided by Chambliss?

    Just today it was announced that the banks seek bailout of credit card debt, the major annuity issuers are losing 50% of their market value because of doubts that the annuities are funded. Yes, these annuities are the guts of many401k “guaranteed” investment options. A 401k plan I researched today had 80%CDO’s as investments.

    Saxby Chambliss has been up to his eyeballs in THEFT from you and me. If you are a saver you are soon to see interest income fall to zero. If you hold stocks and bonds, the market was corrupted during Saxby’s 14 years in DC.

    We begged him not to vote for that bailout, citing MORE corruption, but he voted for it anyway. Now at least 10% of the 700 billion is going to pay bonuses to the THIEVES. Do not let it be lost that Bo Chambliss is a lobbyist for these same corrupt interests.
    Saxby Chambliss is laughing at you.

    He AIN’T gonna laugh at me, not after the way I have been after him.

    Conservatives, we OWE IT TO OURSELVES AND EACH OTHER to seize the chance to finally bring the GOP back to its principles by defeating Saxby Chambliss.

    Yes, the alternative is not attractive, but I seem to recall that John Barrow was being labelled much the same way as Martin is today, and we have been able to influence him to be independent of Dem leadership. We can achieve the same with Martin, or we will get rid of him. This he knows fully well.

    Let’s seize the moment, defeat this lousy US Senator and unite to reclaim the GOP for conservatives.

    The futures of you, your family and children depend on it.

  23. Ga Values says:

    Saxby would be beat easily if the Morris papers whould publish stories about his real exploits but Saxby carries Billy Morris’s water so they look the other way..

  24. Conservatives, we OWE IT TO OURSELVES AND EACH OTHER to seize the chance to finally bring the GOP back to its principles by defeating Saxby Chambliss.

    Once again, IndyInjun proves to be the most cogent poster on Peach Pundit. I tip my hat to you again, sir.

    Vote Buckley! Saxby is a liberal.

    OK, I liked that one too.

    Both are correct. Saxby is a liberal, and we’ll never take our party back from the liberals until we lop off the heads (figuratively speaking) of our so-called “leaders”. I’ll be voting for Buckley, for the sake of the GOP’s future (and, therefore, for the sake of America’s future). Next time, maybe we can nominate someone who stands up for conservative principles and values, instead of for illegal immigrants, rich “farmers” and Wall Street banksters.

    I nominate Indy.

  25. Ga Values says:

    Saxby’s Gang of 10 Traitors has helped elect OBAMA. His vote for the $700,000,000,000.00 Wall Street Bailout with an added $153,000,000,000.00 of pork was done after he got over $2,000,000.00 from LOBBYIST. Saxby worked with Pelosi, Reid, Boxer & Kennedy on the ILLEGAL AMNESTY Bill & to over ride President Bush’s Veto of the PORK filled Farm Bill. If this is what our country needs we are in deep throuble. A vote for Allen Buckley is a vote to get the USA back on the right CONSERVATIVE Track.

  26. John Konop says:

    The truth is many on both sides want the free lunch program. When I ran for office and warned the public about the debt issue they referred to me as “chicken little”

    I was interviewed by their panel (AJC) who lectured me on GDP. They were blind to the debt ratio and problems that caused it.

    Now they think I am genius for predicting the issues in advance. BTW I a am neither chicken little or a genius, I am just willing to take a honest look at a situation without being tied to any agenda.

    I do think people will listen now because they see their 401k and home equity crashing. Also the job market is getting tougher and they can no longer use their homes as a ATM machine via refinancing anymore to keep above water.

    The biggest problem is us. Congress is only a reflection of what the people want. And the truth is many still do not want to hear the truth.

    We did not get 11 trillion in the red fast and we will not get out of the mess fast. Personal savings rate did not get upside down fast and we have no short road out.

    I have news for Saxby and Martin we have no money for tax cuts and spending increases. And it will get worse before it gets better.

    But how many people want to hear this?

  27. IndyInjun says:


    The people are about to hear a thunderclap of doom.

    The figure is not $11 trillion, but $16 trillion, after the nationalization of Freddie and Fannie accompanied by their debt.

    The various bailouts are another $3 billion and at the wild rate this thing is progressing, will end up in the $5 trillion to $10 trillion range.

    These numbers spell debt default.

    WHEN the USA defaults on its debt, the people will truly hear and feel the pain.

    Curing excessive debt with even more excessive debt is disastrous.

    Saxby thinks it is great.

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