Archive for the ‘Sam Nunn’ Category

Sam Nunn, Max Cleland in Chuck Hagel’s corner; Chambliss appears skeptical

WASHINGTON – The supporting cast for Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel has a notable Georgia twang.

Behind the scenes, former Georgia Democratic U.S. Sen. Max Cleland is working to build support for his fellow Vietnam War veteran and former Senate colleague. Cleland, who lost his seat in 2002 to Saxby Chambliss, was in the front row for Thursday morning’s confirmation hearing before the Armed Services Committee but declined to comment as Hagel’s nomination is still pending.

Seated next to Hagel was former Georgia Democratic U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, who once chaired the committee. Nunn and former Armed Services chair John Warner, a Virginia Republican, introduced Hagel and lent bipartisan and powerful backing for the nominee. Senators tend to respect powerful former senators.

Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, has been a controversial pick on the left and the right – his alleged sins include insufficient backing of Israel and insensitivity toward gays. The …

Continue reading Sam Nunn, Max Cleland in Chuck Hagel’s corner; Chambliss appears skeptical »

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, …

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

Sam Nunn and 20 years of nuke control

President Barack Obama delivers his speech to the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) symposium at the National Defense University in Washington on Monday. Seated are, from left, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Sens. Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar. AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

President Barack Obama delivers his speech to the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) symposium at the National Defense University in Washington on Monday. Seated are, from left, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Sens. Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar. AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Local boy makes very, very good. From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — Hailing two decades of efforts to help the former Soviet Union secure nuclear weapons stockpiles, President Barack Obama said Monday that the world must continue to stand guard against nuclear threats — including terrorists who seek to gain control of nuclear weapons.

“We cannot let our guard down,” Obama said, calling efforts to combat nuclear terrorism one of his top priorities as president.

Obama praised the 20-year-old Cooperative Threat Reduction program, which has provided billions of dollars in U.S. equipment and know-how to help Russia and former Soviet bloc nations safeguard and dismantle nuclear and chemical weapons.

The …

Continue reading Sam Nunn and 20 years of nuke control »

Two Sams, an Elliott and a Sanford on polarized politics

This was alumni weekend at Emory University, possibly because they don’t have a football team.

Part of the program on Saturday was a panel of law school graduates discussing the polarized state of American politics: Former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn (’62), U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (’71) Attorney General Sam Olens (’83); former congressman Elliott Levitas (’52).

Herding the cats as moderator was Yvette Miller (’88) presiding judge of the state Court of the Appeals. Tom Clark, associate professor of political science, also sat in on the discussion.

Here’s the video turned out by Emory:

Below is a rough, incomplete transcript.

For the last few weeks, Nunn has been engaged in an unofficial campaign to rally the nation’s political elders – Republican and Democrat – in support of a bipartisan deal to address the federal deficit and avoidance of the “fiscal cliff” that looms in January. So he loomed largest in the discussion.

The panel closed with a brief skirmish over voter ID between …

Continue reading Two Sams, an Elliott and a Sanford on polarized politics »

Your morning jolt: Sam Nunn joins push for debt discussion in presidential debates

Starting Wednesday, former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn and three retired ex-colleagues will hold four forums aimed at forcing the first presidential debate between Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney to take up the federal debt crisis.

Each forum will take the form of a congressional hearing before Nunn and his four co-horts: Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico; Warren Rudman, R-New Hampshire; and Evan Bayh, D-Indiana.

Former U.S. secretarys of the treasury Robert Rubin and James A. Baker, III, will be part of Wednesday’s proceedings in Washington D.C.

You’ll recall that, last month, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss was one of a quartet of current senators who asked that one of the three presidential debates be dedicated to the deficit recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson Commission.

On CBS’ “This Morning,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was asked whether the Pentagon had begun planning for the massive across-the-board cuts mandated as of Jan. 1 if …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: Sam Nunn joins push for debt discussion in presidential debates »

Sam Nunn: Time for ‘people in middle’ to make some noise

Last night, former U.S. senator Sam Nunn of Georgia issued a brief statement on the defeat of U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind.

This morning, my AJC colleague Daniel Malloy talked with Nunn, and sends this:

Nunn had always assumed his old friend and cross-aisle working partner would survive a close primary election. But about a week ago, the former Georgia senator began to hear, from those studying the polls, that Lugar was headed for defeat at the hands of state treasurer Richard Mourdock.

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and former Sen. Sam Nunn, co-authors of the 1992 Nunn-Lugar Comprehensive Threat Reduction effort, inspect a $1 million railroad bridge near Shchuchye, Russia in 2007, part of a rail line to haul 2 million artillery shells loaded with nerve gas from a storage depot to a destruction site. The rail line was built by Canada and the U.S.-based Nuclear Threat Initiative. AP/Douglas Birch

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and former Sen. Sam Nunn, co-authors of the 1992 Nunn-Lugar Comprehensive Threat Reduction effort, inspect a $1 million railroad bridge near Shchuchye, Russia in 2007, part of a rail line to haul 2 million artillery shells loaded with nerve gas from a storage depot to a destruction site. The rail line was built by Canada and the U.S.-based Nuclear Threat Initiative. AP/Douglas Birch

Last night, that view was confirmed with a 20-point shellacking.

“I think the …

Continue reading Sam Nunn: Time for ‘people in middle’ to make some noise »

Your morning jolt: John Barrow gets a nod from the U.S. Chamber

Some interesting calculations are being made at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Republican-oriented business group is launching TV ads in U.S. Senate races in four states, and targeting 17 House contests across the country. According to the Associated Press, the multi-million dollar buy hits Democratic incumbents over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and the administration’s energy policies.

The only Democrat getting a boost from the chamber is U.S. Rep. John Barrow, now of Augusta:

*

***
Speaking of the endangered political center, after his defeat last night, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., issued two statements. One was a dab of pablum that thanked Indiana voters, etc. The other amounted to an indictment of a polarized political process. From the Evansville, Ind., Courier Press:

The truth is that the headwinds in this race were abundantly apparent long before Richard Mourdock announced his candidacy. One does not highlight such headwinds publically when one …

Continue reading Your morning jolt: John Barrow gets a nod from the U.S. Chamber »

Sam Nunn on Richard Lugar’s defeat in Indiana

Voters in Indiana on Tuesday ended the U.S. Senate career of Richard Lugar, a Republican who nurtured the foreign policy views of Barack Obama of Illinois and served as the long-time policy partner of Sam Nunn, the Democrat from Georgia.

Nunn issued the following statement this evening:

“The people of Indiana, indeed of the nation and the world, have been the fortunate beneficiaries of Dick Lugar’s outstanding leadership in the U.S. Senate for 36 years. He is a statesman in every sense of the word: smart, skillful, strategic, diplomatic and wise. He has been a tremendous asset to the U.S. Senate, and he will be missed.

“Dick and I forged a partnership more than 20 years ago in the Senate, when we worked together across party lines on groundbreaking legislation to help secure and dismantle weapons of mass destruction left vulnerable after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and we continue to serve together on the Board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. He is one of the world’s …

Continue reading Sam Nunn on Richard Lugar’s defeat in Indiana »

Sam Nunn: No more U.S. ground troops in Muslim conflicts

Forty years ago this spring, a virus disguised as a campaign jingle began boring its way into the frontal lobes of Georgia voters.

“Sam Nunn is tough, Sam Nunn is young, put Sam Nunn in Washington….”

What can I say? We were a simpler people in 1972. The owl-eyed, state Democratic lawmaker was elected to the U.S. Senate that year, ultimately becoming one of Washington’s foremost military experts. He retired from the Senate in 1997 –– but even now, he can startle you on matters from nukes to Afghanistan.

Although they both had roots in rural Georgia, Nunn was not particularly close to Jimmy Carter, who had followed him to Washington four years later. But in retirement, the two Georgians now have much in common: Both have created spectacular post-public careers.

Carter’s retirement can be tracked by the books he churns out year after year. Twenty-two at last count. By contrast, the first published –– but still partial –– account of Nunn’s life hit the bookstores only last …

Continue reading Sam Nunn: No more U.S. ground troops in Muslim conflicts »

Sam Nunn: Pinpoint strikes by U.S. military could replace costly occupations

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn is wondering whether pinpoint strikes like the one that took out Osama bin Laden could become an alternative to the use of massive U.S. military resources to occupy whole countries.

From this morning’s Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn of Georgia. Associated Press

Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn of Georgia. Associated Press

“I think this is the wave of the future,” Nunn said in an interview Tuesday in Columbus after the annual shareholder meeting at TSYS, of which he is an emeritus director on the firm’s board. “We’ve seen the downside of occupation in Iraq and continuing in Afghanistan. This is the kind of skills that we have and the kind that we can execute with great pride.”

…..The former senator stopped short of saying U.S. troops should exit Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as possible. They’ve been there since shortly after the 2001 attacks.

“But occupying another country is a different mission than what America is historically accustomed to, and I think it’s extremely difficult …

Continue reading Sam Nunn: Pinpoint strikes by U.S. military could replace costly occupations »