Skip to main content

Sen. Saxby "Shameless" (R-GA)
So by now you know last Friday, the senior Republican Senator from Georgia, Saxby Chambliss decided to call it quits. Knowing the he was going to face an inevitable challenge from the right, Chambliss, who originally was going to run for re-election decided to do an about face.

Here's the video below, in case you need to refresh your memory on how Chambliss got to the Senate:

                                 

That senate race in Georgia in 2002 was a marquee race, with the Senate being deadlock at 50-50. September 11th, 2001 attacks were still fresh in the nation’s mind, and was approaching the one year anniversary of the attacks. This was also the time when the Bush administration was getting ready to lay the foundations to head into Iraq. Chambliss ran a gutter campaign against a decorated Vietnam veteran who lost three limbs out there in the blazing jungles of Vietnam. Unlike Chambliss who was a chicken hawk dodge the war.

That ad was met with a wide criticism.

Fmr. Governor and then Senator Zell Miller (D-GA):

"It's disgraceful for anybody to question Max Cleland's commitment to our national security"
Senator John McCain (R-AZ):
"[I]t's worse than disgraceful, it's reprehensible;"
Fmr. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE):
"The ads were beyond offensive to me."
Unfortunately that year in 2002, Democrats took a black eye in Georgia. Besides one of the scummiest, and dirtiest campaign seen in modern political history, that Chambliss ran against triple amputee Sen. Max Cleland, the shock of Gov. Roy Barnes upset lost to little known State Sen. Sonny Perdue, as well as party switchers, that ended up giving Republicans control of the Georgia State Senate since Reconstruction. All of that was a substantial blow to Georgia Democrats. Also the '02 senate race in Georgia embolden and reinforce the GOP by using swift-boating tactics in that climate fresh off the 9/11 in the oncoming Presidential election of 2004. Fortunately the chickens came home to roost, those tactics ran it course when the American people were sicken of the Bush's foreign policy, in which those type of scaring tactics for the sake of national security were zilch.

In an excerpt from his statement Chambliss was confident that had he ran he would had no doubt win re-election.

Lest anyone think this decision is about a primary challenge, I have no doubt that had I decided to be a candidate, I would have won re-election. In these difficult political times, I am fortunate to have actually broadened my support around the state and the nation due to the stances I have taken.
Yeah right! The Senator was a heavy target from right wing outside groups who were foaming at the mouth to primary Chambliss. Some of Chambliss' actions that painted himself a bullseye in the eyes of right wing groups. One was breaking his pledge to Grover Norquist and agreeing to raising taxes. Saying he "cared a lot more about' America than about Grover Norquist".

His teaming up with Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) in 2011 forming the "gang of Six", along with Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Mike Crapo (ID), and Tom Coburn (R-OK). A group of three Democrats and three Republicans focusing on the national debt. As well as his willing to work on immigration. All of those things mentioned had triggered a inevitable primary challenge.

Earlier this month, Amy Kramer the buffoon who's chairwoman of the Tea Party Express predicted that Chambliss will be primaried.

"The Tea Party Express, we haven't decided anything at this point, but I can tell you I live in the state of Georgia and Saxby Chambliss is going to be primaried. Our own senator. It's unacceptable to have somebody who votes with the Democrats more than they do with the conservatives, and he has proven time and time again he's all about the spending,"
In Republican circles nowadays if you even breathe in the direction of a Democrat, let alone working with them will spark a primary challenge.

We've seen this time and time again since 2010, establishment favorites, and incumbents. Whether it was 2010 in Delaware, Colorado, and Nevada. Or in 2012 with Richard Lugar in Indiana, the Tea Party is alive and well. Me personally I wanted to see Chambliss get eaten by the right; I love Republican on Republican violence. Because of his disgusting campaign back in '02 I would have been delighted if he went down in the primary, and a Democrat won that seat.

There's also is a reality when it comes to this senate race in Georgia, because of the thin bench, and most of our top tier candidates such as Rep. John Barrow, and State Sen. Jason Carter (who I would much rather prefer) have taken themselves out of the running will be a tough get. Georgia was once a solid blue state, especially in the state level, since the beginning of the last decade it has been a reliable red state on the presidential level.

But make no mistake about it, Georgia has seen a dramatic change in it's demographics like other "New South" states such as Virginia and North Carolina, with Florida already being there for quite some time. By the next election Georgia will be a battleground state for the first time, being competitive for both parties, with Democrats having the opportunity to when it since Bill Clinton in 1992.

                                              Likely GOP Candidates

Fmr. Georgia Sec. of State Karen Handel
Karen Handel has run twice statewide in Georgia. In 2006 she became the first Republican Secretary of State in 2006. In 2010 ran a four way GOP primary for Governor making it to a bruising run-off with then Rep. Nathan Deal. Handel narrowly lost the primary run-off against Deal, who used Handel's past membership in the GOP front gay rights group Log Cabin Republicans as an issue.  Handel denied that she had ever been a member of the group, which was an important and influential constituency when she was a commissioner. Though the Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed that she was on the Log Cabin’s membership rolls in '03 and '04, and that she had signed a questionnaire affirming her support for domestic partnership benefits. When asked by Atlanta's NBC affiliate WXIA about her stance on gay rights, she said that she was against marriage and adoption for gays, and that gay people are not legitimate parents.

She is by now is most known for getting Susan Komen in trouble for cutting their ties with Planned-Parenthood, who has been a piñata for the GOP and their anti-choice zealots in the party. Her fight with Planned Parenthood early last year, is a badge of honor in GOP circles. It was reported in the Huffington Post that emails between Komen leadership on the day the Planned Parenthood decision was announced, which were reviewed by HuffPost under the condition they not be published, confirm the source's description of Handel's sole "authority" in crafting and implementing the Planned Parenthood policy.Handel's strategy to cut off Planned Parenthood involved drafting new guidelines that would prevent Komen from funding any organization that was under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. A lot of people think Congressman Tom Price would be a candidates looking to make a run, but he and Handel are very close, and both hail from Metro Atlanta.

According to Georgia political insider Jim Galloway from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

What’s being ignored is the fact that Handel and Price have a close political and geographic connection. Price was the only Republican member of Congress from Georgia to endorse Handel’s gubernatorial ambitions. (Both are thus unloved by the current governor.)

One will not run if the other does. So the more that you hear one of these two north Fulton figures talk about a U.S. Senate run, the less likely it is that the other is truly considering the contest.

Another plus for her is stated in the Peach Pundit:
Handel, on the other hand, has run statewide just two years ago, losing a primary by roughly 2,500 votes.  That’s two years more recently than Chambliss who needed a runoff in 2008 to return to D.C., and an advantage over Price and Broun who haven’t yet run a statewide race.

Furthermore, her support – presuming it has remained intact from 2010 – is decidedly anti-establishment.  During her gubernatorial race only Congressman Tom Price supporter Handel over Governor Deal and the number of State House & Senate members who openly supported her candidacy can be counted on one hand.  Yet despite the uphill climb, she still came within less than 1% of a primary victory.


It's very unlikely to see Handel and Price both running. Her staunch anti-choice stance and her fight with Planned-Parenthood would be a tremendous asset for her.
Congressman Paul Broun
Paul Broun who hail from Athens is another Republican who would possibly run as well. He's probably the most derange member out of Georgia's congressional delegation. Most recently back in October, a month before the Presidential election, he made headlines by calling the sciences of embryology, evolution, and the Big Bang are "lies straight from the Pit of Hell", and went on saying that they're "lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior." To make matter worse not only does he sits on the Committee on Science and Technology, but on top of that is a Physician. Broun has made so many crazy statements that it's just too many list that you have to go to his wikipedia page to read them.

Two weeks ago in his fourth floor Rayburn Building office, when Broun was asked whether Chambliss understands the big issues of debt and deficit the country is facing as he does, Broun paused for a moment and replied  “Doesn’t seem so,” Broun said. “He seems to want to raise taxes on people, and he also wants to continue spending. So I don’t know if he does or not, you’ll have to ask him.” When asked whether he would challenge Chambliss in the primary, dodge the and responded in saying “Right now I’m focusing on trying to get our country to be responsible financially as a nation,” he said. “It’s not time to even think about that.”

Then the very next week, last Tuesday,four days before Chamliss announced his retirement, the AJC reported on a local radio show in Athens, when asked about he admitted he’s thinking about a 2014 primary challenge to Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

“I don’t know. I’m honored that a lot of people are asking me to run. I’ve not made that decision,” Broun told Tim Bryant on WGAU (1340 AM) in Athens. “It’s not time to think about it.”

“When people encourage you to run, how can you not think about it?”

Congressman Phil Gingrey
Phil Gingrey who also hails Metro Atlanta, is a dark horse. Earlier this month he stated that Todd Akin, who ran for the Senate this past election cycle in Missouri, stated he was "partially right" on Akin's legitimate rape comment. Keep in mind the Gingrey is a licensed and certified OB/GYN. For saying what he said the state of Georgia should had taken his license away by now, and prevent him from practicing medicine. Like Broun, Gingrey himself has his fare share of crazy controversial remarks. The GOP primary electorate love crazy, Though him and Price hail from Metro ATL and have the same donor base as Price and Broun. Gringrey is just as a deranged gaffe machine as Broun. While Price is much more tamed.

These are the three folks on the GOP side I see emerging as their nominee. And you can bet that Johnny Isakson is looking over his shoulder come 2016. I'll say to Saxby is good riddance, and don't let door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

Originally posted to BKGyptian89 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:10 PM PST.

Also republished by Kos Georgia.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site