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Saxby Chambliss won in 2002 by comparing Vietnam war hero Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), the chickenhawk Republican political hack who won his Senate seat by comparing triple amputee Vietnam veteran Max Cleland to Osama bin Laden, is retiring.
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss will announce this morning that he’s dropping plans to run for a third term in 2014, a decision certain to set off an avalanche of Republican candidates who will seek to replace him.

Word out of Washington is that Chambliss broke the news to his senior staff this morning.

You'd think that the offensive nature of his path to power would have permanently ingratiated himself with the Republican base, but Chambliss was actually facing the prospect of a serious primary challenge from incumbent Rep. Paul Broun or Rep. Tom Price, both Republican members of the house. Apparently, Chambliss decided that he'd rather quit than defend himself against someone running on the "I'm wingnuttier than you" platform.

But now that Chambliss is out, it may be Broun and Price who need to look over their shoulders—for this guy:

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks about taxes at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, October 31, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS BUSINESS)
It turns out that retired pizza executive Herman Cain is still a giant in the wingnutosophere—and Georgia Republicans would love to have him represent their party:
With news of Saxby Chambliss' retirement, we found last month the top choice of GA Republicans would be Herman Cain: http://t.co/...
@ppppolls via web
And that was when Chambliss was still running. Cain registered 36 percent support — 13 points ahead of Chambliss. Broun and Price combined got 7 percent, less than Allen West who doesn't even live in the state. So if Cain were to decide to run, he'd become the instant favorite for the GOP nomination. And if that happens ... grab your popcorn.

7:27 AM PT: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Guy Cecil:

Georgia will now offer Democrats one of our best pick-up opportunities of the cycle. There are already several reports of the potential for a divisive primary that will push Republicans to the extreme right. Regardless, there’s no question that the demographics of the state have changed and Democrats are gaining strength. This will be a top priority.

7:34 AM PT: How could I possibly have forgotten to extol the virtues of a Karen Handel candidacy? Handel is the former Georgia Secretary of State who was the architect of the Susan G. Komen Foundation's debacle with Planned Parenthood. And last year, she was rumored as a Chambliss challenger. So, Herman, Handle, Broun, and Price—what a glorious primary that would be.

8:22 AM PT: Say it ain't so!

Per NBC's Bob Costantini, Herman Cain ruled out running for Chambliss's Senate seat on his radio show today.
@mpoindc via Seesmic twhirl
Fortunately, the crazy runs deep in that primary field.

8:28 AM PT: LOL:

Please understand that those of you publicly asking me to reconsider are going on a list of people my wife will hate always.  Not happening.
@EWErickson via TweetDeck

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:24 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Kos Georgia.

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