Shipp: "Chambliss' fearlessness serves as a dramatic reminder of how weak and impotent the once all-powerful Democrats have become in Georgia."
Just back from a Senate Intelligence Committee fact-finding trip in Iraq, Chambliss declared last week: "Every time I go over (to Iraq) the improvements in the conditions are truly amazing. It is very encouraging for me to see the progress."
Georgia's senior senator went on to praise President Bush's surge strategy to quell the Iraq insurgency and express overall optimism that the United States is doing well in Iraq.
Chambliss is a savvy politician who understands his constituents. So he must feel safe in continuing to heap unrestrained praise on the Bush plan for Iraq.
To be sure, Georgia is one of the few states in which Bush's popularity has not fallen through the floor. The Peach State has maintained a strong military presence in the Middle East since the outset of the war in that region. Many Georgians perceive a failure to support Bush's policies as a failure to support our troops. In parts of the country, the Bush-troops connection has all but vanished.
In this reddest of the red states . . . Chambliss seems totally secure. He is expected to have no primary opposition next year. Among Democrats, only DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones has announced he will challenge the one-term senator.
Hardly anyone gives Jones much chance of victory, but his anticipated candidacy has chilled the ambitions of several white Democrats. Understandably, they think they would have little chance of winning the nomination against a well-known African American in a primary dominated by black voters.
Chambliss' fearlessness serves as a dramatic reminder of how weak and impotent the once all-powerful Democrats have become in Georgia. In describing American "success" in Iraq, Chambliss is virtually thumbing his nose and daring the opposition party to recruit a genuine challenger.