Your daily jolt: If Saxby Chambliss is frustrated with Washington, what do his BFFs think?

Neither the transcript nor the video is available as I write this, but on NBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on Sunday, Chuck Todd noted one of the many implications of U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ decision not to run for a third term.

One of Chambliss’ best friends in Washington, Todd noted, is House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. If Chambliss is frustrated enough to abandon Washington, Boehner may be, too.

There’s another leg to that stool. Chambliss’ other BFF in Washington is U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. The two have been together since their halcyon days at the University of Georgia in Athens. (Where Chambliss will appear today with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.)

Isakson has already declared himself a certainty to run for re-election in 2016. “Absolutely,” said one aide last night. But the man who will soon become Georgia’s senior senator has also just been named to the Senate Finance Committee, which will be at the center of any further negotiations over federal debt, spending and revenue increases. Delicate times are ahead.

When thinking about a 2014 run for Chambliss’ seat, many potential candidates – Democrat as well as Republican – will have to at least consider the possibility that Isakson might follow Chambliss into retirement two years later.

Below is a quick breakdown of the several names in the mix for 2014.

Remember that many candidates are floating their names quickly – not just for the attention, but to freeze in place a short list of consultants and core check-writers while the candidate assesses his or her chances. And for those of you don’t consider some of these names below capable of winning statewide, remember that – at least on the Republican side – the object is merely to get into a runoff.

Consider the 1972 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, which featured seven candidates. State Rep. Sam Nunn of Perry, with 23 percent of the vote, worked his way into a runoff against incumbent David Gambrell – and won. Now, to the list:

– U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell: All but certain to run, though he’s unlikely to have the support of Gov. Nathan Deal. Price supported Karen Handel in the 2010 race for governor, and these things matter. But Price is an excellent and driven campaigner, and has plenty of cash. Handel is said to be looking at the Senate race as well, but she’s more likely to run for Price’ empty seat. As is state Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, and perhaps former House speaker Mark Burkhalter.

— U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens: Strangely enough, an open seat makes it less likely that the Athens congressman will enter the contest. We’re picking up the first reports that the National Republican Senate Committee would intervene – perhaps its first such action in a post-Todd Akin world — in Georgia’s race in order to make sure that Broun, who recently denounced evolution as a lie “straight from the pit of hell,” doesn’t walk away with the 2014 Republican primary.

– U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta: He’s let it be known that he’s “seriously” considering the Senate race, but he first needs to measure the impact of a very bad news day earlier this month in which he 1) said he was open to capacity limits on magazines for semi-automatic weapons, and 2) declared that Akin was “partly right” about his 2012 remarks about “legitimate rape.” In a GOP primary, his position on gun clips may matter more. Gingrey, 70, would also be the senior candidate in the field – a fact that contributors might think relevant.

– U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger: He’s relatively new to Congress, but don’t count him out. Graves is telegenic, a tea party favorite, would have immediate support from Club for Growth and other bundlers. Graves also has developed a close relationship with Chambliss during his short service in the House. When Chambliss was still in the hunt, Graves’ name was the one you never heard tossed about as a potential opponent.

– U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah: He’s immediately out of pocket, but is actively looking at the contest. Even so, Kingston might be a couple election cycles too late, given that the weight of Republican voters has moved north of I-20. Todd Rehm at Georgia Pundit spotted this Friday post from former state Sen. Eric Johnson of Savannah on Twitter:

Just agreed to handle @JackKingston4GA’s exploratory effort while he is in Israel/India. Retweet if you want him to run. He would be great!

If Kingston does roll the dice, look for Johnson, a lifetime ally of the Savannah congressman, to make a bid for Kingston’s House seat.

– Former Gov. Sonny Perdue: In any race for the U.S. Senate, primacy goes to those with experience in federal elections, where the contribution limits are smaller and a heftier Rolodex (look it up, kids) is required. Members of Congress, in other words. But don’t count Perdue out. He’s in a good place, personally and businesswise, and his old political team just held a reunion on Friday. Moreover, both Perdue and former aide Nick Ayers would be able to tap into financial alliances built during their days with the Republican Governors Association.

– Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle: This one may sound like a surprise, but we’re told that Cagle is dead serious. Though he’s spent the last two years in limbo, courtesy of that now-tamped-down Senate uprising, the lieutenant governor has used that spare time to work the Rotary and Kiwanis circuit. Again, note that the weight of the Georgia GOP is in the north, and Cagle is from Hall County.

– House Speaker David Ralston: He is said to be considering the contest. And if we believed that a U.S. senator were more powerful than a state House speaker, he might be able to persuade us that he’s serious.

– Stan Wise of the Public Service Commission: Not much to go on, but we understand he was in the field with a private poll this weekend.

Now for the Democrats. They’re likely to give Nathan Deal a pass, for which the governor should immediately send Chambliss a thank-you note. Chambliss’ timely withdrawal, and with it the possibility of hard-right gaffes like those that occurred last year in Missouri and Indiana, make it essential that Democrats field a U.S. Senate candidate worth voting for in November 2014. To wit:

– U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta: He’ll be under the most pressure from Democrats in Washington, who will point out that Barack Obama won’t be on the ticket to juice the turnout in a solidly Republican district. And remember that assessment that coastal candidates can’t do well statewide? Remember that Barrow had his roots in Athens, before Republicans re-districted him. Twice.

– Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed: He was certainly uninterested in challenging Chambliss, but hasn’t immediately dismissed a 2014 run for the open seat. However, such a move would almost certainly require Reed to abandon this year’s re-election bid for mayor, which is already in full swing — with substantial support from Republicans. With at least the possibility that Isakson might not be on the 2016 ballot, while Hillary Clinton may well be, Reed may decide that patience is the better part of valor.

– State Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta: Talented, thoughtful, and middle-of-the road. He’s an attorney with U.S. Army experience in Iraq, and has been touted as a future face of a rejuvenated Democratic party. Even if he misses, a 2014 run for the U.S. Senate could set him up for 2016.

– State Sen. Jason Carter, D-Decatur: Already one of the more talented Democrats in his chamber, a statewide run is certainly in his future. But like Reed and Holcomb, Jimmy Carter’s grandson is young – 37 – and has time to wait. Although, if memory serves, Sam Nunn was only 35 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

– Vernon Jones: Yes, the former DeKalb County CEO says he’s thinking about it.

There are certainly more names to name, and this list could go on and on and on. If you’re a friend to any I’ve left out, add the name below – but also tell me why he or she should be considered a possibility.

***
Cobb County’s Neil Warren to the list of Georgia sheriffs who have volunteered to protect you from any federal gun grab. From an op-ed in the Marietta Daily Journal this weekend:

For my part, I intend to fully exercise the power and authority vested in me by my oath of office as Sheriff of Cobb County. It is my firm commitment to immediately challenge and seek injunctive relief from any statute or executive action which violates the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the citizens of Cobb County.

***
One reason why men stumble into talk about “legitimate rape,” proffered by Maggie Lee and the Macon Telegraph:

Women make up about 23 percent of Georgia’s state Legislature and just 8 percent of committee chairs, the powerful gatekeepers who can single-handedly stop legislation. Both figures put Georgia behind other states.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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58 comments Add your comment

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Just a taxpayer

January 28th, 2013
8:19 am

Burkhalter will need to deal with a personal issue that will come to light before he can run.

Road Scholar

January 28th, 2013
8:29 am

liberallefty: You left out …w/o taking any responsibility to correct the alleged wrongs! Just whine on behind your anonymous keyboard!

Road Scholar

January 28th, 2013
8:31 am

Oh, I forgot…and hurl insults because of their deep rooted anger!

honested

January 28th, 2013
8:46 am

This still presents an excellent opportunity to wipe the slate of imperial ignoramuses from the ‘r’ side of the Georgia Congressional Delegation.

I hope they all run and that real Statesmen replace them.

A reader

January 28th, 2013
8:52 am

I will never vote for Paul Broun, Tom Price, Karen Handel, Sonny Perdue, or Vernon Jones. All for different reasons.

DJ Sniper

January 28th, 2013
9:03 am

If these right wing morons would stop staying retarded statements about rape and what not, then maybe they wouldn’t have to worry about people bringing it up. Of course, that requires more common sense than the GOP seems to have these days.

Please keep Sonny Perdue away from any other public office. He did more than enough to drag Georgia down to the bottom. The rest of the cast of characters isn’t too much to write home about either.

Kindergarten Math

January 28th, 2013
9:09 am

What about Democrat Ken Hodges ? He did, after all, draw the largest percentage of votes among all Democrats in the statewide elections 2 years ago, even more than former Governor Barnes.

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

January 28th, 2013
9:11 am

If Chambliss is frustrated enough to abandon Washington, Boehner may be, too

I think republicans are using the word frustrated as a substitute for “they will not let me have my little baby way so I am going home to mommy”.

RealTalk

January 28th, 2013
9:16 am

TAXBY is a Total Coward and a Horrible Rep for our Great State. The Crying Speaker has also been a Huge Disappointment. He is a RINO. Throw them all Out. We need a Real Tea Party Conservative for the Senate. GA deserves Better. I am sure I will be criticized by the Kool Aid drinkers on here. Libs are ruining this country. You all will get what is coming to you with your Party. Both Parties have Sold all of Us Out. CAIN for Senate
.

Henry S

January 28th, 2013
9:16 am

I see none of the mentioned above as honest candidates to represent us Georgians. Most republicans mentioned are converted democrats so they will never work for us. Especially the racist’s democrats mentioned. I would not know who to vote against.
We need the independents to get together and start supporting a none politician and anti-establishment and defenders of the constitution to run. That would be a novel idea.

jgalloway

January 28th, 2013
9:18 am

Liberallefty, Aesop:

Clean up the language or be placed in time-out.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 28th, 2013
9:18 am

If these right wing morons would stop staying retarded statements about rape and what not, then maybe they wouldn’t have to worry about people bringing it up.

How would we know what they thought if some lib didn’t ask them?

Bob Loblaw

January 28th, 2013
9:19 am

Memo

TO: RSLC
FROM: GA REPUBLICANS
DATE: 1-29-2013
RE: PAUL BROUN
__________________________________________________________________________________

Do not worry. Paul Broun has no chance to win a statewide primary. Please encourage him to run. It will make the eventual winner appear to the center of the electorate and will allow us to dispose of Broun as an elected representative.

Thank you.

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 28th, 2013
9:29 am

jgalloway – Considering that I was actually complaining about the “language,” thank you.

You just removed 50% of LL’s vocabulary.

George

January 28th, 2013
9:30 am

Who gives a dam let him go with his boy and they should go now do not wait two years .They have caused enough problems.

rock in my shoe

January 28th, 2013
9:37 am

chambliss is leaving because he knows we are not happy with his leadership/votes…etc that is the only reason. In other words…we will fire him come election time and he feels the fire.

Son of Sammy Davis Jr, Jr

January 28th, 2013
9:40 am

The Tea Party is killing the Republican Party and targeting seasoned, experienced, knowledgeable and skilled Republicans like Saxby. That’s the real reason why he’s not running; the tea party is after him for being a compromising Republican. There’s a lot of Republican’s in office now that’s fed up with the Tea Party and their way or the highway stance. The younger Tea Party Republicans are feeding on the older Republicans.

DJ Sniper

January 28th, 2013
9:40 am

Anybody who thinks that liberals are this country’s problem must be smoking something. The actions of these clowns on the right are to blame, especially these idiots from the Tea Party. Somebody has convinced these morons that compromise shouldn’t be a part of governing. I hate to inform them, but sometimes you’re just not going to get your way, and whining like a spoiled child isn’t the answer.

The Tea Party needs to be put out to pasture.

WillinRoswell

January 28th, 2013
9:45 am

Beware, my friends, that for which you wish. We might just get it. Patience and wisdom should to be the order of the day, but alas, patience has fled and wisdom is stillborn.

WillinRoswell

January 28th, 2013
9:45 am

Beware, my friends, that for which you wish. We might just get it. Patience and wisdom should to be the order of the day, but alas, patience has fled and wisdom is stillborn.

td

January 28th, 2013
9:51 am

I think Jack Kingston would make a very good Senator and I live north of I-20.

sailor12

January 28th, 2013
10:13 am

Who cares about Boehner’s weak butt being tired or frustrated. He is the cause of the frustration along with the rest of this new sorry A** congress. Don’t show him this BLOG or he may start crying.

Synonymous

January 28th, 2013
10:17 am

Jack Kingston never met an earmark he didn’t like. Supreme appropriator.

clem

January 28th, 2013
10:21 am

they’re gonna need a station wagon for this clown parade; wish sam nunn would come back. but if you have to have a repub think td’s choice best of the lot.

jim

January 28th, 2013
10:29 am

what about the great vince dooley?

GtBee

January 28th, 2013
10:36 am

Herman Cain. Hermain Cain. Hermain Cain. Herman Cain. Hermain Cain. Hermain Cain. Herman Cain. Hermain Cain. Hermain Cain.

Seriously, for crying out loud, get somebody in there with some sense!

honested

January 28th, 2013
10:36 am

clem,

Do you really think we need a Senator entirely beholden to the insurance industry?

It’s bad enough having a Senator entirely beholden to real estate interests.

The Ghost of Lester Maddox

January 28th, 2013
10:37 am

That burning smell in the air ain’t Atlanta smog….it’s the smell of the brains of lobbyists working overtime….Saxby’s decision leaves them with the occasional problem of who to write big checks to…..

…the next few months will see the utility, insurance, big business, lobbyists doing a lot of tap-dancing until this race sorts itself out – ha!

J Throckmorton Malcontent

January 28th, 2013
10:38 am

Run Jason Run! Peace Corps experience should come in handy–let’s lift Georgia out of the Third World!

Voter

January 28th, 2013
10:49 am

Any Congressman who has served over 2 terms consecutively should go. Democrat, Republican, Independant, whatever. We need term limits.

patriot01

January 28th, 2013
10:51 am

Congressmen and Senators are like Ticks on a Dogs back, all looking for the best spot at the Dinner table ! Now I’m Elected, I have to do what will be best in the long run for the little ” Click ” that put me here ! Sorry folks, it’s all about Money and Power……….the days of Right and Wrong have long past !!

patriot01

January 28th, 2013
10:51 am

Congressmen and Senators are like Ticks on a Dogs back, all looking for the best spot at the Dinner table ! Now I’m Elected, I have to do what will be best in the long run for the little ” Click ” that put me here ! Sorry folks, it’s all about Money and Power……….the days of Right and Wrong have long past !!

South GA

January 28th, 2013
10:53 am

Roy Barnes might try for higher office on the dem side. Also, Newt wants something bad and a senator position for him is tempting..

Voter

January 28th, 2013
11:00 am

@patriot01 – I agree for the most part, there are some recently elected congressman trying up there but they’re so junior, they can’t get anything done. That’s why we need term limits. No more than 2 or 3 consecutive terms, they can run again after 4 years. Enough of this 65+ or dying in office.

Voter

January 28th, 2013
11:07 am

@DJ Sniper – “The actions of these clowns on the right are to blame, especially these idiots from the Tea Party.” “The Tea Party needs to be put out to pasture”

First of all, the Tea Party just started a few years ago. Secondly, putting the blame on the”right” is just ignorant. The Democrats have just as much invested in blame also. Third, what’s your “excuse and “blame” for the last 4 years? Still blaming Bush?

Hmmmmmmm

January 28th, 2013
11:12 am

Who CARES! Washington DC jobs program is a JOKE, and a WASTE of time… It matters not, if you have a R or D in front… They are all CROOKS, and should be ashamed…

double

January 28th, 2013
11:15 am

I do not know why we need reps.and senators.Someone posted lately that term limits were not legal in DC because of seniority.

Newt is nuts

January 28th, 2013
11:23 am

Jim, I may be in the minority among your regular readers, but I think the Republicans will cannibalize their eventual primary winner and give the Dems a chance to grab the Senate seat.

I also think there is a real chance for the Dems to topple our ethically-challenged governor.

When you look at the 2012 Obama vote in Georgia — heavily swelled by blacks and Latinos — and consider the possibility that the Tea Party folks might take a walk if they don’t approve of the GOP nominee — there very well might be very close general election contests.

Shirley Franklin for governor and a Latino businessman for the Senate would generate a very large Democratic vote. Long shots, maybe, but the electorate is changing, both below and above I-20.

td

January 28th, 2013
11:33 am

Newt is nuts

January 28th, 2013
11:23 am

“When you look at the 2012 Obama vote in Georgia — heavily swelled by blacks and Latinos ”

You do actually realize that the vote for Obama in Georgia in 2012 was less then the vote for Obama in Georgia in 2008? Also, no democrat in Georgia even cam close to outperforming Obama in Georgia in 2010.

Jbill

January 28th, 2013
11:44 am

How many old fools over 70 in House and Senate like Reid , Feinstein and Byrd etc..? They all need to go. Yes to term limits and age limits……

And they crying continues

January 28th, 2013
12:00 pm

td

All that spin and at the end of the day, Obama won.

But nice try

Newt is nuts

January 28th, 2013
12:03 pm

td, I assume you do not believe the Tea Party folks will stay on ths sidelines. If you are right, then the GOP will probably win both contests. But if you are wrong, remember that roughly 45 percent of the vote is Democratic, WITHOUT a black or Latino candidate.

Republicans in Georgia could be as surprised in 2014 as the Dems were in 2002.

DJ Sniper

January 28th, 2013
12:05 pm

Voter, the Tea Party didn’t really rise to prominence until Obama was elected. That’s when folks like the Koch Brothers started funding their efforts, and our country is all the worse for it. They need to realize that the “my way or the highway” approach doesn’t lend itself to effective governing.

H.L. Grump

January 28th, 2013
12:09 pm

How about J. Tom Morgan? He’s head and shoulders above any of the usual suspects.

Voter

January 28th, 2013
12:10 pm

@double – The Congressman voted themselves their “golden parachute” including their “no term limit”. It was not that way originally. It was voted in and it can be voted out.

td

January 28th, 2013
12:13 pm

Newt is nuts

January 28th, 2013
12:03 pm

Micheal Thurmond ran against Johnny in 2010 and there is an African American that ran in I think the Insurance Commissioners race.

As a supporter of the Taxed Enough Already movement there is no way they will sit on the sidelines in 2014 because it will be all about returning all Conservatives to DC to stop the Obama agenda and implement an American agenda.

Voter

January 28th, 2013
12:13 pm

@Dj Sniper – Not sure where you’re getting your “facts” about the Tea Party. The Tea Party loves the Constitution, they want lower taxes and a Federal Budget, they want less Government, they want their President and Congressman to support ” We the people”.

Voter

January 28th, 2013
12:18 pm

@DJ Sniper – “They need to realize that the “my way or the highway” approach doesn’t lend itself to effective governing”

And it does need to be “my way or the highway” to get the Government to understand who they work for and that they can’t keep wasting OUR tax dollars. Spending is out of control. Don’t give me any how Bush did it or Clinton, we are right now in 2013, this President campaigned on less government spending and a budget to get our National Debt under control. Well guess what? We are at 16+ trillion and growing, he has not kept his promises, just made excuses. That’s why we need the Tea Party and any other Party that wants less government.

honested

January 28th, 2013
12:23 pm

DJ,

For more information, just look at dick ‘popgun’ armey’s stunt at ‘teaparty central’.

I do look forward to rampant cannibalization then a round of blame that the candidates were ‘not conservative enough’.