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Max Cleland

From dKosopedia


Joseph Maxwell "Max" Cleland (born August 24, 1942) was a Democratic U.S. Senator from Georgia from 1997 until 2003. Cleland served in the Vietnam war, and during the battle of Khe Sanh in 1968 he lost both legs and part of one arm. He was awarded a Bronze Star and a Silver Star for valorous combat.

In 1996, Cleland ran for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow Democrat Sam Nunn. He barely won. His tenure in the Senate was considered by many to be unremarkable and uneventful. In many ways he was a conservative Democrat, like Nunn before him, voting for the Iraq war, for President Bush's tax cuts, etc., though he was less conservative than fellow Georgia Senator Zell Miller.

In 2002, Cleland faced a divisive and vicious campaign. Initially his lead in the polls over Republican Rep. Saxby Chambliss was significant, but after a famous Chambliss ad attacking Cleland's courage aired in October, the polls began tightening. Democrats lashed out at the ad as unfair and demanded that Chambliss answer for his attacks. However, the ad clearly had an impact, and Chambliss continued to make the case that Cleland was unsupportive of the president (whose popularity was very high in Georgia) and too liberal to represent the Peach State. Final polls showed Cleland with a small lead, and on Election Night 2002 Chambliss pulled an historic upset, beating Cleland by a 53-46 margin.

Since then, Cleland has become much more of a liberal icon, criticizing President Bush on numerous occasions and campaigning with fellow Vietnam veteran and fellow Senator John Kerry in 2004. Cleland was originally a member of the 9/11 commission, but resigned because he claimed that the White House was "stonewalling".

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This page was last modified 23:36, 11 April 2006 by dKosopedia user Allamakee Democrat. Based on work by dKosopedia user(s) Raginillinoian and Kagro X. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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