Saxby Chambliss

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Saxby Chambliss is the senior U.S. Senator from Georgia. Chambliss is among the less popular Senators with constituents. According to a late 2005 poll of satisfaction with Senators in each state by SurveyUSA, Chambliss was approved by only 48% of survey respondents in Georgia. The national average for approval is 54%. A whopping 34% of Georgia respondents disapprove of Chambliss. He is markedly less popular than the junior U.S. Senator from Georgia, fellow Republican Johnny Isakson. Survey Results

Contents

Biography

Chambliss received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and Gridiron Secret Society.

Chambliss has never served in the military, and he received four deferrments during the Vietnam era.

Political Career

Saxby Chambliss arrived in Congress in 1994, and represented the 8th District for 4 terms. In 2002 he won an upset victory against incumbent Sen. Max Cleland, and will soon be the senior senator of Georgia. He is generally overshadowed by retiring crackpot Zell Miller, and similar to the other freshmen GOP senators of 2003, notable only in his willingness to vote and recite talking points in lockstep with the Bush administration close to 100% of the time.

Analysis

Chambliss's campaign was lauded by both parties as being blessed with a strong debater as well as very well-designed bio ads. But this alone could not tip the scales in his favor. What caused his victory? Heavy campaigning from a then-beloved (in the South) President George W. Bush? High Republican turnout due to a silly Confederate flag ballot measure? A strong anti-incumbent mood? The answer is "yes" to all of these questions.

Perhaps, most of all, his victory came from a string of attack ads that would come to epitomize everything that was wrong with the 2002 midterm election campaigns. Cleland was not only hit with the usual "doesn't share our values", "gay agenda", and "liberal" smears, he - a decorated Vietnam war hero who had lost both legs and an arm for his country - was placed between Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein in attack ad after attack ad. The obvious implication was that Cleland was supporting and abetting terrorists. Cleland, who sacrificed his mobility for his country while Chambliss was sitting at home with a trick knee, was permanently slandered and smeared as a terrorist-supporter, his patriotism mauled beyond belief. No matter how many terms Chambliss serves in the Senate, those ads will be his most lasting legacy for the state of Georgia.

Quotes

  • "Every time I go over there the improvements in the conditions are truly amazing," Chambliss said after a visit to Iraq, "It's very encouraging to me to see the progress." - (Source: DailyKos, May 9, 2007).

Contact Information

416 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Telephone 202-224-3521
Fax 202-224-0103

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