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Palin to campaign for Chambliss in Savannah

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POSTED: December 10, 2008 5:00 a.m.

ATLANTA --  Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is expected to campaign with Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss on the eve of his Dec. 2 runoff, the senator's campaign said Tuesday.

Palin will join Chambliss for four public rallies Monday in Augusta, Savannah, Perry and Atlanta in a closely watched runoff against Democrat Jim Martin.

It's one two contests that will help determine whether Democrats win a filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate. The other is in Minnesota, where a recount is under way in the race between Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.

Palin was the little-known governor of Alaska when Arizona Sen. John McCain tapped her as his running mate. She drew enthusiastic crowds on the campaign trail as the first woman to win the Republican nomination for vice president but also faced questions about her preparedness for higher office and her pricey wardrobe.

Still, she emerged from the losing campaign as something of a rock star, fielding book offers, documentary deals and countless interview requests. It's widely expected that she will make a run for president in 2012.

Palin is popular with Georgia's conservative base. The mention of her name at GOP rallies routinely draws louder cheers than that of McCain's. The Chambliss camp is counting on her energizing those voters in the campaign's final hours.

"I was thrilled when I got the call that Gov. Palin would be able to make the trip to Georgia," Chambliss said Tuesday.

Martin's campaign has asked President-elect Barack Obama to campaign with him but has received no word yet on whether he will. Obama has recorded a radio advertisement and automated phone calls on Martin's behalf. And about 100 former Obama field operatives are in Georgia working for Martin.

Georgia's Senate runoff has drawn a parade of political luminaries, including most of the Republican presidential field.

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is expected in the state Tuesday to campaign with Chambliss. McCain, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have appeared for Chambliss.

Former President Bill Clinton and his Vice President Al Gore have made cameos for Martin. Gore's one-time campaign manager, television pundit Donna Brazile, is appearing Tuesday with Martin.

 

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