Friday, October 24, 2008

Sacking Saxby

Politics is full of surprises. With Senator Obama seemingly on his way to a win, eyes have turned toward the Senate. The pundits believe it might be possible for the Democrats to win 60 seats in the Senate -- giving them a filibuster-proof majority.

Lo and behold, one of the tight Senate races is in my home state of Georgia. I stumbled across this today in The Washington Post.

Friday Senate Line: Democrats Creep Closer to 60

”In the 2006 election, almost every state in the country was swept by a Democratic wave. Almost every state that is except Georgia where Republicans nearly knocked off two Democratic House incumbents and saw Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) reelected with 58 percent of the vote. Much has changed in two years, however, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R), once considered among the safest of GOP incumbents, finds himself in a dogfight with former state Rep. Jim Martin (D). Polling -- public and private -- suggest this is a statistical dead heat. “

Senator Chambliss is just another “red meat” Republican from a red state. Now that the race has tightened up, he instinctively turned to what got him elected in the first place -- attack ads. In fact, that is about the whole sum of Senator Chambliss. I can’t tell you another thing he has done except for running some of the dirtiest ads you’ve ever seen against Senator Max Cleland to win his seat.

If you’ve got a moment, read Saxby’s Wikipedia entry.

”Chambliss ran for the Senate in 2002 and won by a surprisingly wide margin, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Max Cleland, 53 percent to 46 percent. “

”His campaign used the refrain of national defense and security, but drew criticism for television ads that paired images of Cleland and Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, and for questioning the commitment to homeland security of his opponent, a triple amputee and decorated Vietnam veteran.”

“Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said of one ad, "[I]t's worse than disgraceful, it's reprehensible;" Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said the ads were "beyond offensive to me." Chambliss supporters claimed the ad didn't question Cleland's patriotism, but rather his judgment.“

Senator Chambliss’ opponent is Jim Martin. I wish Mr. Martin the best of luck. You can too. Vote.

Last minute addition. I just found this at the The New York Times. Just in case you think I’m off base, read the “comments” section. I think Senator Chambliss is in trouble. Expect more attack ads.

Don Brown
October 24, 2008

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