Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) announced today that he would be retiring from the Senate and not seeking re-election in 2014.
So long, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Mr. Chambliss was first elected to the Senate in 1994, when he ran one of the most disgraceful campaign ads ever, which suggested that his opponent, triple-amputee war hero Sen. Max Cleland, was somehow connected to Osama bin Laden and deeply un-American. Sen. Cleland had lost three limbs in a bomb explosion while serving his country in the Viet Nam War, during which he won the Silver Star and Bronze Star.
Chambliss had been urged to run for the seat by Karl Rove, who Cleland blamed for the "character assassination" attack. Rove denied it, and why would Karl Rove lie?, though has said about the ad, " But I thought it was effective because it was factual." The supposedly-"factual" ad morphed the image of Osama bin Laden onto an image of Saddam Hussein which morphed into an image of Max Cleland.
That's a picture of Max Cleland above. (He's the one who deserves the photo here.) After leaving the Senate, Mr. Cleland continued his public service, He was appointed to the 9/11 Commission, though resigned after claiming that the Bush Administration was blocking access to key documents. He introduced John Kerry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and was appointed by President Obama in 2009 to be Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission, on which he currently serves.
What Saxby Chambliss will be doing after leaving the Senate is currently unknown, though there are rocks available for crawling under.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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