Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cleland Won't Seek Rematch Against Chambliss

Former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) has decided against seeking a rematch against freshman Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

On the one hand, that's unfortunate. Cleland was considered the top potential challenger for Chambliss, in what would be a tough seat for the Democrats to gain, given the state's conservative tilt.

A rematch would have given Cleland a chance, at a time of war and terrorism, to defend his patriotism and promote his knowledge of foreign affairs and homeland security issues against Chambliss. Chambliss, you'll recall, ran an advertisement in 2002 that juxtaposed Cleland's image with those of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, and distorted Cleland's record by suggesting he was against homeland security. (The images of Bin Laden and Hussein were subsequently removed.) The ad angered some Vietnam veterans, including Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and John McCain (R-AZ).

On the other hand, I'm glad Cleland isn't committing himself for 2008. I'm hoping he's tabbed as the party's 2008 vice presidential candidate, perhaps paired up with another Southerner, former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC).

The regional strategy worked in 1992, and it could work again.

(Editor's Note: This item has been updated, correcting a wrong description of the Chambliss advertisement.)


Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"Chambliss, you'll recall, ran an advertisement in 2002 that morphed Cleland's image into Saddam Hussein's, and distorted Cleland's record by suggesting he was against homeland security."

David, your description of Chambliss' ad is simply not true. It didn't morph Cleland's image into anything. That is a myth. It was a tough, factual ad that criticized Cleland for his 11 votes against a vital homeland-security bill.

Cleland and the Dems tried to play the victim card with Cleland, because he is a Vietnam Vet and a triple amputee, but it didn't work. He also accused Chambliss of attacking his patriotism, which was not the case either.

Voters decided that Cleland's voting record was not off-limits, and they elected Chambliss, who had won the endorsement of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, based upon the latter's superior voting record on national security and veterans issues.

Here is the ad, for anyone who wants to refresh their memories.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

But Max Cleland was the one who co-wrote the legislation to create the Homeland Security Department. He was hardly soft on national security. The ad is a bit misleading, but there have been worse ads, for sure (the Harold Ford "call me" for one).

But the Dems weren't trying to play the victim card -- Chambliss did attack his patriotism, yet another example of Republicans who didn't serve attacking Democrats who did for being insufficiently patriotic.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Is that the only ad Chambliss ran?

11:50 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...
"Is that the only ad Chambliss ran?"

I really can't say, but as far as I know, that is the one that caused all the furor. Imo, it was a big to-do about nothing. Overreaction and a lot of hyperbole.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see freakin' David R. Mark corrected his mythmaking. Way to go, Trinity!

Puts you in your place, asshole.

2:20 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

It's a minor point about the Chambliss ad. The attempted comparisons to OBL and Saddam were still in the original ad and the distortions about Cleland's record on homeland security were still present. JABBS' argument still holds firm.

And meanwhile, these conservatives are like little chiwawas trying to nip at the heels because they got nothing else.

10:23 AM  

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