A Georgia Senate candidate runs *toward* Obama

Jim Martin is wrapping himself in the President-elect. Time for Obama backers to send him some love.

The conventional wisdom gets another one wrong: American voters (by a 59-38 margin) are fine with united government, as long as it’s united under the Democrats, who have a 62/31 favorable-unfavorable rating, rather than the Republicans, who are 38-54 the wrong way on that question.

And it looks as if the political professionals believe the polls: John McCain defeated Barack Obama in Georgia 52-47, but Jim Martin’s first ad in the runoff is all about he will work with Obama: the first ten seconds have Obama’s face and voice, not Martin’s.

And if you were wondering, as I was, yes: Obama’s sending some troops down to Georgia for the race. (It seems to me that Obama ought to go “all in” and make at least one campaign speech for Martin in Georgia. Even if Martin loses, Obama comes out ahead; downballot Democrats need to know that the President has their back.) But however that calculation comes out, it’s incumbent on all of us who are committed to seeing him succeed to help Martin along , especially since he’s running as a national Democrat and Obama supporter rather than a “blue dog.” The Obama machine could be the most important new force in American electoral politics since the labor movement. This is the first test of our ability to elect someone not named “Obama.”

Obama’s final donor count was something over 3 million. 3 million donors x $10 would be plenty for a 3-week contest. If you can give that much, please do; if you can give more, so much the better. You can donate on line in less than a minute. There’s a space for a comment; I wrote “I hope that Senator Martin will give his full support to President Obama.”

If you agree, after you donate spread the word.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com