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. Joe Regis

    The repubs need to go in the wilderness for a while. No more repubs this year.

    Go Martin go!

    November 19, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Gail

    Great to see. Go dems.

    Hillary lets get on with the Secretary of State position.

    The longer you let it hang out the more fuel you give to the Clinton haters!!

    I am not sure what they hated the peace or the property they brought. It is amazing how they are treated same on the American people.

    That is the problem in this country we have no respect for anyone. I am not a big Bush lover however he is the president ... and we need to have respect after all the people voted for him twice...

    Go Hillary !!!!!

    November 19, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. thomas

    If the break in the senate was 49-49 for the next session, you can bet that every democrat in the country would be in Georgia to challenge Chambliss.

    November 19, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Sivil

    Where is Jimmy Carter?

    November 19, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW

    HEY OBAMA SUPPORTERS,

    YOUR MESSIAH IS PICKING ALL THE CLINTON PEOPLE FOR HIS STAFF. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHANGE YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT?

    LOOKS LIKE TO ME THAT THE CLINTONS WON THIS ELECTION AFTER ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!

    FUNNY HOW OBAMA WON IN THE EYES OF THE COUNTRY BUT THE ACTIONS REFLECT THE CLINTON MACHINE IS BACK TO RUNNING THIS COUNTRY.

    I THINK THE CLINTON MACHINE WILL RUN THIS COUNTRY AND OBAMA WILL SIGN WHATEVER THEY OFFER AND GIVE HIS SPEECHES TO KEEP THE OBAMA SUPPORTERS HAPPY!!

    November 19, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. American

    Chambliss is one of the worst perpetraters of "fear and smear." His sliming of Max Cleland was one of the most dispicable political acts in recent memory. Hopefully Clinton can help defeat him and put a fitting end to that sorry era. By the way, Clinton wasn't impeached; he was lynched by a Republican mob, many of whom have now been removed from office. Justice is slow sometimes but happens.

    November 19, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. There's something about that kool-aid

    Apparently some Obama supporters are susceptible to hostility.

    🙂

    November 19, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Obama will pick the best people possible to change this country for the better. So what if some of those people served under Bill Clinton?

    November 19, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. RealityKing

    Only morons still believe the words coming out of this mans mouth..

    November 19, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. lovable liberal

    Any word from Joe Lieberman? When will he campaign for Martin? Is he a Democrat or not? (Not.)

    November 19, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Rick Santorumumumum

    What is wrong with all the Obama bashers? this article is about Bill Clinton in Georgia????

    November 19, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Gaylon Barrow

    Bill why are you supporting OBAMA Supporters. He will ruin your wife's career. Is this what you want???

    November 19, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Jason

    Picking some people who served under Clinton is change. The last time I checked change meant change from the last 8 years not change from the last 16... 🙂

    November 19, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Cheryl

    Anyone but a Clinton!!!

    November 19, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Chip

    @Daniel :
    One can only hope. I, for one, have had about enough of religion hindering our progress as a society.

    Yes, it did such terrible things as starting all of the Ivy League schools.

    What progress has it hindered? Letting gays marry? Trying to stop people from 'fixing' their irresponsible actions by disposing of an unwanted baby?

    Stem cell research hasn't suffered because of religion, it goes on. The only objection there was toward using federal funds to extract those cells from unwanted blobs of tissue.

    A religious man was president when slavery was abolished, a religious man led the civil rights movement (Rev. Martin Luther King, remember him?).

    Keep your bigotry to yourself, since this is a safe forum to bash religion you feel comfortable doing it. A sad day indeed.

    November 19, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. What's wrong with bringing back 1990's prosperity?

    I recall prosperous times during the Clinton administration. While I'm not saying the Obama administration should consist solely of Clinton staffers, having them on board DOES represent change from the mess we've had for the past 8 years. The Clinton bashers can quit acting like they're upset – they're already ecstatic about the chance to start up again with their hypocritical attacks.

    November 19, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Jaye

    Obama shouldn't go to Georgia to campaign for anybody...he has enough on his plate. Let Clinton, Gore, and some of the other popular democrats go do their democratic duty.

    November 19, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. alice c

    HEY YOU SAYING OBAMA IS PICKING ALL FORMER CLINTON PEOPLE FOR HIS STAFF, REMEMBER, THIS COUNTRY WAS IN GREAT SHAPE DURING THE CLINTON ERA YOU IDIOT! WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE JOE THE PLUMBER AND THAT WOMAN FROM ALASKA AND HER FIRST DUDE? IF YOU COULD YOU PROBABLY WOULD WANT MORE OF THE SAME OF THE LAST 8 YEARS.

    November 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Bosun

    Chambliss deserves to lose, with the kind of campaign he ran against vet Max Cleland. The Republicans disparaged and humiliate vetererans when it is very convenient for them yet, they shout country first, and all hail to vets, for serving the country when their guy is running. The Bush campaign used the same tactics against John Kerry forgetting that while kerry was fighting for and defending the country the current occupant of the white house was visiting the dentist.

    November 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Jan

    Marie Canada–Did I hear wrong, or did you Canadians vote a Conservative in by a landslide last month? Typical sour grapes Canadian–wanting your economy to be better than the USA!!!

    November 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Ryan, Son of Niall

    Republican sour-grapers – he's your president too. Suck it up and try to stop sniveling. For those who are about deep religious values, give me a break, it's a secular government – it is written into our Constitution to have a separation of Church and State. Worship as you wish, I encourage you. That's what America is about. But don't try to turn our democracy into a theocracy, or a oligarchy of total redneck idiots either.

    Obama is not anti-religious at all, but he is committed to leadership like we haven't seen in 8 years: the Constitutional kind.

    To me, an independent Constitutional Issues voter, that's the kind of change Obama brings – change back to the way it was intended – change back to the way my ancestors have fought and bled and died for since we arrived here in 1750.

    November 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Tex Ann ~~~~~~~

    All you people griping about Obama picking former Clinton staffers and/or others who have prior service in Washington-- would you rather he picked someone who has NO experience whatsoever?? Think about it, if you were interviewing 5 people for a job (any job), would you hire someone "with experience" or someone who doesn't have a clue what the job is even about???

    There HAS to be some continuity in the transition folks.

    November 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Charles Atlanta

    Bill can give it a try. Georgia is pretty much red state. Republicans still hate Clinton because he brought the prosperity to American people. 90's boom is not fake – think about people without celleular phones, Internet today. These are all 90's products. Clinton rided the wave of new technology revolution and Bush didn't.

    November 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. No Hillary = No Obama

    The Clinton's are the underpinnings of the Democratic party – like it or not, like them or not. Obama is stacking his cabinet with Clinton veterans because Obama doesn't know what he is doing and needs to build some sort of foundation under him. This is what happens when you elect an inexperienced wannabe to the Presidency.

    November 19, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Michael K, Baltimore MD

    Simply amazed that so many know so much about what the next administration will do and how it will do it. Did they have the same quality insights 8 years ago? If not, why should we believe them now. If so and they still support Bush, why should we listen?

    November 19, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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