Paul Begala drums up cash for Ga. Senate race

Top Democratic strategist Paul Begala is helping Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn (D) in her quest for campaign funds.

Begala penned an email the day before the fundraising quarter ends comparing Nunn to the last Democrat to carry Georgia, President Clinton.

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"I spent many happy hours riding across Georgia with my old boss, Bill Clinton, when he carried the state back in the day. There was something special in the air back then: a sense of unity, of hopefulness, of being part of something larger than oneself," he wrote in the email.

"I get that same feeling when I look at Michelle Nunn's candidacy for Senate. Since it's not my first rodeo, I am not prone to irrational exuberance. But Michelle is the real deal. She is an outstanding candidate with a real chance to win in Georgia. She would make history as the first woman Georgia has ever elected to the Senate."

Begala calls Nunn, a former charity executive who's running as a centrist, "a powerful, pragmatic practitioner of the politics of common ground."

Nunn's campaign is off to a strong start in the Republican-leaning state. She hauled in $1.7 million in her first quarter in the race, the largest sum of any non-incumbent Senate candidate.

Her campaign has the backing of some other former Clinton hands as well. Gordon Giffin, Nunn's campaign chairman, was a top donor to both Bill and Hillary Clinton's campaigns and served as the ambassador to Canada during Clinton's final years in the White House.