December 2nd, 2008
08:18 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Georgia Senate Race; Automakers’ Bailout Blueprints; Pirates!

Cate Vojdik
AC360° Writer


Georgia has to be on President-elect Obama’s mind tonight.

Voters in the Peach State went to the polls today to decide the runoff election between Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the Republican incumbent, and Democratic challenger Jim Martin. This race is a huge deal; the balance of power in the U.S. Senate is at stake. Chambliss’s re-election to a second term would prevent Democrats from gaining a filibuster-proof, 60-seat majority.

Neither candidate won 50 percent of the vote in the three-candidate general election. Republicans argue that Chambliss is a final firewall against unchecked Democratic power; Democrats say a Martin victory will assure Obama’s success in Congress. What do you think? At this time of economic crisis compounded by potential national security threats, is it more important for the new president to have a Congress he can work with – or is it preferable to have a check on Obama’s power with a divided Senate?

The polls closed at 7 p.m. ET. Early results seem to be favoring Chambliss. By air time we should know a lot more. We’ll have full coverage of the race and its consequences.


The Big Three automakers submitted their turnaround plans to Congress today – and surprise! They’re now asking for as much as $34 billion instead of the $25 billion they originally wanted. Their plans to revamp include salary cuts for top executives, the sale of corporate jets by General Motors and Ford and the possible elimination of two GM brands – Pontiac and Saturn.

The debate over an auto bailout took on new urgency today as the auto industry reported its worst sales in 25 years. U.S. and overseas automakers reported declines of more than 30 percent from a year ago. We’ll be digging deeper on all of this.

Meantime, the Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout plan – the one that’s already handed out hundreds of billions of dollars – received it first report card from congressional investigators today – and it raises some bright red flags. The Office of General Accounting found that the plan lacks adequate oversight of banks’ potential conflicts of interest and lavish executive pay. Hmm. We’re eager to hear your thoughts on that.


U.S. governors have one of the toughest jobs in the nation right now – 41 states are forecasting budget shortfalls this year or next. Yesterday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency, saying his state could run out of cash within two months. Today in Philadelphia, President-elect Obama met with all the governors and promised that his economic recovery plan will include relief for them. He also asked them for their support and their input in drafting his recovery plan. Candy Crowley is on the story.


You may have heard about the band of pirates that was thwarted this weekend while trying to hijack a U.S. cruise liner in the Gulf of Aden. When we heard about the story we immediately envisioned the Love Boat cast of yesteryear rolling up their sleeves and getting scrappy (“Julie, you keep watch on deck! Isaac and Gopher - arm yourselves with these anchors and take no prisoners!”)

The chilling truth is that piracy is on the rise off the Somali coast – and that cruise ship was lucky to get away. Pirates have attacked about 100 ships along the stretch this year and hijacked 40 vessels. They still hold 14 ships along with more than 250 crew members, according to maritime officials. So how do the pirates pull it off? Tonight Erica Hill explains how they get on board these massive ships in the first place.

See you at 10 p.m. ET…

Filed under: Cate Vojdik • Raw Politics
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Pat Steven

    Couln't Congress approve the bailout money be issued through the Treasury to banks for the specific purpose of loans to the Big 3. Banks are capable of managing loans, which the Treasury has proven it can't.

    December 3, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  2. Chet Cornacchia

    Bailout Madness?? Here's one for you...
    I called the Chase Bank Home Mortgage forclosure modification line for a client and while I was placed on hold, "I'll be home for Christmas" was playing on an endless musak loop. Pretty poor choice of music for people who are getting removed from their homes. Perhaps Billy Joel's "Movin' Out" would have been a better choice.

    December 3, 2008 at 10:45 am |
  3. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    The bail-out is clearly ridiculous! How about they get their money and we all get free alternative fuel automobiles. Aren't we paying for them ?

    December 3, 2008 at 10:17 am |
  4. scott

    Regan a conservative? What planet are you on?
    He spent more money than anyone on nothing other than Bush2.

    December 3, 2008 at 4:39 am |
  5. Mary, Anniston, AL

    Cut Saturn? Isn't that one of the few American cars still MADE in America? What a surprise.

    December 3, 2008 at 2:20 am |
  6. Brigitte Guehr

    I'm a small bussiness owner, trying to get by and attract customers by slashing prices and tightening my belt and getting all my wits together to run my business even more efficiently than I already have. I could really use a government bailout, about $50,000 would do it for me... and I have a plan to make that money back and pay it back, so how about it?? I'll even pay my own way to get to Washington to testify.

    December 3, 2008 at 1:28 am |
  7. Brigitte Guehr

    To the three big automakers CEO"s
    Driving a hybrid to Washington is great, now let's try carpooling!! Hey y'all are going to the same place, c'mon!
    That's what the rest of us are doing!

    December 3, 2008 at 1:23 am |