“I can’t overstate the impact she had down here,” Chambliss said during an interview Wednesday morning on Fox News.
“When she walks in a room, folks just explode,” he added. “And they really did pack the house everywhere we went. She’s a dynamic lady, a great administrator, and I think she’s got a great future in the Republican Party.”
Chambliss said that after watching her campaign on his behalf at several events Monday, he does not see her star status diminishing within the party.
The Republican also thanked John McCain and the other big name Republicans that came to Georgia, but said Palin made the biggest impact.
“We had John McCain and Mike Huckabee and Gov. Romney and Rudy Giuliani, but Sarah Palin came in on the last day, did a fly-around and, man, she was dynamite,” he said. “We packed the houses everywhere we went. And it really did allow us to peak and get our base fired up.”
Yes, also, Chambliss may have gotten some mileage out of the argument that his election would block the Democrats from gaining 60 senate seats, but even this message was somewhat cautiously framed — as delivered, for instance, by Sarah Palin:
Senator Chambliss … he’s got that strong independent spirit that we need in DC. […] He doesn’t just run with the Washington herd. Folks, with just one party in control of the House and the Senate and the White House, we need now more than ever public servants who will think for themselves. And faced now with a steep Democratic majority in Congress, Saxby isn’t going to be an easy ‘yes’ vote, and he’s not going to be an automatic ‘no’ vote — he’s going to vote his conscience and do what is right for Georgia and what is right for America.
Palin then goes on to cite some of the usual Republican talking points about taxes, the Second Amendment, energy independence, victory in Iraq, and the sanctity of life, but her tone is very different than when she was campaigning on behalf of John McCain: less personal, less sanctimonious, less reactionary, less dumbed-down.
Election 2012 is a long way off, but if Gov. Palin can deliver for senators and governors in 2010 (and the GOP will need a lot of help to keep the seats they have), she’ll do herself a lot of good.