November 19th, 2008
10:10 AM ET
12 years ago

Bill Clinton makes big return to the campaign trail

Bill Clinton is campaigning in Georgia Wednesday.

Bill Clinton is campaigning in Georgia Wednesday.

(CNN) - Jim Martin gets some major league help today in his runoff election battle against freshman Republican senator from Georgia, Saxby Chambliss.  And the surrogate stumping with Martin today is Bill Clinton - about as big a name as you can get.

The former President will join Martin, a former Democratic Georgia state lawmaker, at a campaign event in Atlanta.

Martin and Chambliss face off in the runoff election on December 2 for the U.S. Senate seat Chambliss won six years ago. Chambliss won a plurality of the vote two weeks ago on Election Day, but Georgia state law calls for the winner to grab 50 percent plus one vote. Due to the inclusion of a third party candidate, Chambliss fell just shy of that threshold, forcing a runoff contest.

Former President Clinton is the first big name Democrat to campaign in person with Martin, although President-elect Obama has sent resources and workers from his presidential campaign to Georgia to help out. Clinton carried Georgia in 1992 in his first presidential election victory. He won re-election as President in 1996 but lost Georgia that year.

Today's campaign event is scheduled to be held at Clark Atlanta University

Chambliss is getting plenty of big name visitors. Last week Sen. John McCain returned to the trail to campaign with Chambliss, just nine days after losing the presidential election to Obama. On Sunday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination before dropping out in March and backing McCain, campaigned with Chambliss. And on this Friday, Mitt Romney will campaign with Chambliss in Atlanta and Savannah.

A spokesman for Romney also announced that Romney is contributing $5,000, through his Free and Strong American PAC, to Chambliss to help with the runoff election. Romney's PAC donated $2,300 to Chambliss earlier this fall.

Like Huckabee, Romney was a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination before dropping out in February and endorsing McCain. Both Romney and Huckabee could have designs on making another run for the White House.


Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. Sue in MI

    "susceptible?" To what? A change from the fascist-leaning Bush and Cheney, the people who have lied and manipulated facts, and should be in prison? If that is what I am susceptible to, sign me up! It's so amazing that people still support what has been happening to this country, and are so afraid of Barack Obama, a truly peaceful, educated, intelligent man. Is that so foreign to Republicans? Do you think the only person capable of running the country is the guy or gal who speaks down home and you can see hanging out in a bar with? And how well did THAT work out? If our leaders are not smarter than we are, we have a problem.

    November 19, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  2. carolflowery

    dems have won enough already, give it up

    November 19, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. happy thanksgiving

    remember voters chambliss said in his own words he did not know what a recession was, he is so far above the average american it's scary. VOTE JIM MARTIN, DEC. 2, 08

    November 19, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. AFAM

    Good

    November 19, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. jake747

    I'd love to see Chambliss dumped, but I don't like Martin's chances. Chambliss got more of the vote in the first round, and the 3rd Party candidate was libertarian, so more of those voters will probably go Chambliss (though given Republicans lack of care for social freedoms, maybe there's a chance they'll split).

    November 19, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. char

    All voters who want progress and an end to gridlock NEED
    to come out an vote for Martin. REMOVE THE BIGOTS OF THE 50's and 60's generation from power once and for ALL.

    November 19, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Mickie

    Maybe Sarah "Clueless" Palin could fly down to help Chambliss out (LOL).

    November 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. blaising

    Go get 'em, Bubba!!

    November 19, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Sue

    There are tens of thousands of volunteers who phonebanked for Obama. Let's mobilize them for Martin to GOTV!!!

    November 19, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. EVERYMAN

    WHEN WILL THE CLINTON'S JUST GO HOME!

    November 19, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Helen, GA

    I have voted yesterday for Saxby. He is our senator and he will keep his senate port. We do not need outsiders to select our senator. Jim Martin is a loser and so also Bill Clinton. I wanted to see if Chuck Schumer is coming here because he is spending lots of money in the current economy for these ads in support of Jim Martin. We do not need Jim Martin. get lost.

    November 19, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Junius

    CNN in a previous article you all wrote:

    "House Negroes" is the English translation of the Arabic term "house slaves."

    No the translation is house slaves, you had it right there in the article. That is unbelievably offensive that you had to go back and use such offensive american language. these guys know that slaves are not exclusively black, so dont be stupider than these terrorists by taking their propoganda a step further. Inexcusable!!

    November 19, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Ellen

    Of course Clinton would campaign for Martin. With the picks that have been announced it is obvious the country is about to begin the 3rd term of a Clinton administration. Not at least I can tell my daughter I was correct by not casting a vote for either canidate. I did not want four more years of either Bush or Clinton It is very difficult to believe that in our vast country the only experts to be found are from the previous Clinton administration.

    November 19, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. RJN

    What you people don't understand is any time Bill can be away from Hillary he is going to take it.
    He can't wait and will do anything for Hillary to become Sec of State, she will be in a foreign land and the new interns will be coming to Washington. Bill can't wait to introduce them to politics.

    November 19, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Dexter Skagway

    And suddenly everyone is redefining change to mean "not Bush." Bait and switch. The old ways and old parties are not working, Obama. The needed change is not a change backwards to a copy of the Clinton years, including the Clintons and their cronys.

    November 19, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. GaVoter

    Southerns have had enough of this finger waging liars. In fact, we had high hopes for the change Obama had promised to bring to Washington. But now, with the numerous ex-Clintonian appointments to his cabinet.., Obamainia looks more and more like Clinton lite.

    November 19, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Don't worry about what the media (in particular) says about Obama picking Clinton people for his cabinet.

    The media, including CNN, says "critics" and "observers" are complaining about this, but they don't say who the "critics" are, except one name is Leslie Sanchez, a CNN contributor (and a Republican). And Robert Kuttner, a liberal, has apparently coined the term "Clintonistas," referring to people who worked in the Clinton administration.

    My BEST years were when Clinton was president, and I know I speak for many people who made more money during those years and who lived in relative peace, particularly sans a war we shouldn't have been involved in.

    It is real easy for the media to post critical "stuff" when they can avoid the names of real people who are being critical.

    November 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. Charm

    Good for Bill. He was a brilliant President for the US and he continues to be a brilliant working for so many worthy causes. I hope he can help Martin in this runoff.

    November 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Franky

    "Al-Zawahiri can be heard saying, "In you and in Colin Powell, [Condoleezza] Rice and your likes, the words of Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him) concerning 'house Negroes' are confirmed."

    I gotta say, I don't know if its me but doesn't it look like people don't know how to talk to a black person? I swear, I haven't seen a black person being this scrutinized since I was reading books on the early 16th or 17th century...and they were crazy back then! LOL!! Whether is someone in the South questioning his religion or a Catholic priest to "repent" our sins if we voted for him. I just never thought that there was a limit in how we view things and in my opinion, there's no question is about race...

    I have to say, to come and think about it, I guess being the first African-American President comes at a price. Sean Hannity believes my boy is the "Incredible Hulk", while at the same time, it seems to me that materialism still exists today and quite frankly, hasn't changed a bit...

    November 19, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. Proud to be American

    Come on Bill yes we can get the magic 60 seats then we can make change we all can believe in ..... All together now ....YES WE CAN!

    November 19, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. No Real Change

    Obama shows sign of no real changes, to old old Washington's way of doing business, but lack of experience or qualification as a commader-in-chief, in a dangerous world. Is it no self-confidence, or inferiorty complex? It is the old Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton's policy in foreign policy, leading the event of 9/11, 2001. We may have to wait for Obama's promises, of prosperity, spreading the wealth, and how to pay for all the big spending and well-fare system, in two or four years. He is sticking to the Clintons, and Colin Powell, and the like. Yawn!

    November 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. Rej Braun

    If anyone can help get Mr. Martin to beat Chambliss, President Bill Clinton can. The man is the most inspiring speaker of our modern times.

    November 19, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. Ruby

    Like the company you work with, the employees get to move around within the company and get promoted. You know their qualification.

    Would you rather see Obama interview the people for 15 mins and hire those people to handle the Job. This was what Mccain did to Palin and it did not work.

    November 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  24. Patricio

    It is imperative that we elect Chambliss! We have to stop this socialistic society that we have created by electing Obama. If the democrats have 60 votes in the senate there will be no one to stop their 'spread the wealth', 'don't work – its Ok, we will take care of you mentality. Everything this country was built upon and stands for is in jeapordy. Our deep religious moral values will be sistematically lessened in this horrible administration!!!

    November 19, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Tim, I didn't know that dodging imaginary Bosnian sniper bullets made someone a diplomat.

    November 19, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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