Skip to comments.Chambliss May be GOP's Ultimate Test Case
Posted on 11/29/2012 7:07:45 AM PST by Kaslin
Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., was on cruise control to win a 2014 bid for re-election until he made a comment on a station in Macon, Ga., that ignited a political firestorm. In essence, Chambliss hedged on a prior pledge never to raise taxes, stating that in light of the "fiscal cliff" the country is facing, his devotion to the nation was more important than a 20-year-old statement or pledge. That's when the fireworks started.
The first to seize on the comment was tax-fighting lobbyist Grover Norquist, who suggested that voters in the Peach State should hold Chambliss to his promise. But since Norquist comes from that insular world that is the D.C. bubble, most voters in Georgia have no idea who he is or what he was talking about. His statement really only managed to rile the rest of the D.C. bubble, causing pushback from several other Republican leaders who now view Norquist as more of a negative than a positive.
Both Norquist and his detractors often seem to have little concept of the reality of everyday politics outside of the Beltway. Perhaps had Norquist been more effective, a Republican president would be taking the oath of office in January. But just because the presidential race went against him, those who eschew Norquist need to think twice before they attack him or the broader concepts he espouses.
That's because all politics is retail. Thus enter a host of relatively big Georgia names that quickly floated about as Republican primary challengers to Chambliss. Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, who lost in a vicious race against now popular incumbent Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, was among the first names to be mentioned in the media. But prior to any mention of Handel, conservative GOP Rep. Tom Price, who represents the GOP voter-rich northern suburbs of Atlanta, was considered a possible Chambliss opponent.
Within a week, even bigger names were being mentioned. In the case of founder of the popular conservative blog "Red State" founder Eric Erickson, the mention came from ... Erickson himself. On a radio show he hosts (on the same station that launched Herman Cain), Erickson stated he had received some calls that later turned into "people pledging a lot of money." He switched from adamantly against running to "at least considering it."
And the names don't stop there. While the national press bit on a Newt Gingrich hint that he might run for president again in 2016, they missed the fact that the same issue of paying off his considerable debt from the 2012 bid -- a problem for another presidential race -- might disappear should he choose to serve in the U.S. Senate as the best known and most influential freshman in U.S. history.
Gingrich is reportedly telling Chambliss intimates not to worry -- that is, for now. But with his huge name identification and a recent Georgia presidential primary win under his belt, early polling would not only show Gingrich ahead of Chambliss, but by a wide enough margin to have money that would otherwise go early on toward a Senate bid instead to debt retirement. Additional donations would go toward taking on Chambliss.
There are just too many intangibles at the moment to determine whether Chambliss really is vulnerable to any GOP primary opponent (Democrats are another issue, but are likely six or more years away from winning a major statewide contest in Georgia). Chief among those intangibles is the mood of the public, both now and in two years.
As of now, the public is likely to be led a bit more toward the middle -- responding to the inevitable "crisis" and typical market tailspin that now is part of the necessary drama needed in Washington to rush through a "compromise" solution at the eleventh hour.
The greater issue will be in the spring of 2014. If the economy is strong and people have adjusted to any changes made as a result of some tax compromise -- then Chambliss and others will sail to re-election. This is particularly true if, in the process of creating a compromise, Chambliss saves the defense industry and set military cuts that would impact his state.
But if the so-called economic recovery fails to materialize or a "grand compromise" ends up with negative unintended consequences, Chambliss and many of his colleagues up for re-election could face a really hot summer of 2014.
norquist is an arab a-hole...why in the world we anyone pledge anything to him?
That comment proves him part of the problem. Conservatives don't spin tax hikes as doing good for the country, libtards do, usually they use the code word term "revenue enhancement". Suxby has gone soft in the head, if he wasn't always so, time for him to go. That's a Georgia seat, not Massachusetts, we need not suffer a dingus there. If Republicans don't even stand against tax hikes what good are they?
I'm oh so not shocked to see Newt in his corner.
It’s way past time to rid ourselves of the stinking POS Saxby Chambliss! I’d rather have a dim. At least they’re honest about where they stand.
Primary Chambliss out of contention.
Ride RINOs ride, upon your mystery ship...
“close loopholes” / “raise revenues”= raise taxes.
when it all falls apart, republicans will be blamed.
So why not do the right thing?
yodeling over the fiscal cliff...let’s move!
Simple. He is right on taxes. When someone is right about taxes then they are right about taxes. End of story.
Have to send Newt a message somehow.
Actually, he’s in thrall to the Persians ~
Impy response:That comment proves him part of the problem. Conservatives don't spin tax hikes as doing good for the country, libtards do, usually they use the code word term “revenue enhancement”. Suxby has gone soft in the head, if he wasn't always so, time for him to go. That's a Georgia seat, not Massachusetts, we need not suffer a dingus there. If Republicans don't even stand against tax hikes what good are they?”
Here's the key question : Why are so many of these Rs making a specific point (to voters) that they are willing to break that Norquist pledge when they could easily just say that caving to O on the partial extension IS keeping the Norquist tax pledge?
Seriously, think about this.
1) It could be because Dems have so successfully demonized the tax pledge that their voters are calling their offices in masses complaining about it.( I wouldnt be surprised)
2) And/or it could be that Rs want to pass new tax increases (like deduction limits) to replace the automatic increases, which can be interpreted as breaking the pledge since they would have to vote for it.
That was why my idea was a modified version of #1 to avoid such self distructive drama. If you have to win you cant bring a broken twig to a gunfight, and thats what Rs always do.
Later after they cave they will all claim #1 anyway, too late.
I read n FR yesterday that Erik Erikson may primary him. I wonder if Newt would consider a run??
“If Republicans don’t even stand against tax hikes what good are they?”
To serve as the Washington Generals?
He’s also a little creepy and hard to look at. n/s
Chambliss, indeed needs to be primaried out.
Saxby was in mega trouble last time around. He is not going to sail to vicotry in 2014. I was hoping Tom Price or Newt would run. Newt would blow him out of the water. Karen Handel is a good choice also. We voted for her in the primary for Gov.
If so, please have a better GOP candidate at the ready. Or be careful what you ask for - you may get it ...
Remember these terrific U.S. Senators - ODonnell (DE); Miller (AK); Angle (NV); Buck (CO); McMahon (CT); Rossi (WA); Raese (WV); Akin (MO); Mourdock (IN); Mack (FL); Rehberg (MT); Berg (ND); Mandel (OH); Smith (PA); Allen (VA); Thompson (WI) .....
Oh ..... wait ......
Hi Richard, I hope you are well today.
What you say about Norquist may be true regarding his ethnicity, but the issue is whether Saxby should be criticized for going back on his pledge. Saxby’s ostensible inclination to break his pledge is about him; not Grover Norquist.
With all the opposition split 15 different ways, Chambliss is *still* going to coast through the Primary.
Funny you should say that. I got a robo telephone survey call yesterday and normally I just hang up, but this one asked if Chambliss should have a Primary opponent in 2014, to which I responded with a resounding YES! Among those mentioned were Tom Price, Newt, Karen Handel and I believe Jack Kingston. Price was mentioned first, so I was wondering if he was exploring the possibilities.
I can’t imagine Kingston running. He will have been in the House for 22 years in 2014. Swapping out that much seniority to be a freshman Senator doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Newt? That wonderfully brilliant principled conservative icon who was doing a fantastic job leading Republicans back in 1998 until an eeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil "RINO-lead coup" showed up and unceremoniously "removed" him as Speaker?
Newt would NEVER betray the conservative cause! Your mind MUST be deceiving you (like how I falsely "remembered" Newt resigning in disgrace back in '98 after the GOP lost 5 seats while he was boinking Callista behind the scenes... until his fan club here explained to me what REALLY happened)