The Gwinnett GOP organized a breakfast meeting with Senator Saxby Chambliss this morning at the Little River Grill in downtown Lawrenceville. Among the things Chambliss spoke about were immigration, the 2006 elections and some speculation about the 2008 Presidential elections.
7th district Congressman John Linder spoke briefly before introducing the Senator. Linder mentioned traveling to Orlando with Neal Boortz for a recent Fair Tax Rally. Linder said it was 100 degrees with no breeze and despite that, the police estimated the crowd to be about 12,000. Several Congressman have now expressed interest in HR25 after hearing constituents who support the proposal.
Senator Chambliss will be one of the immigration bill conferees when the House and Senate get back to Washington after Labor Day. Chambliss called the Senate Immigration Reform bill one of the worst bills he’d ever seen. He wants an enforcement first bill, and it sounds to me like he’s more in line with the proposals coming from the House than the Senate.
On the 2006 elections, Chambliss seems to think the Senate is safely in the GOP column, as long as a few key states like Ohio and Missouri are GOP holds. He mentioned that Mark Kennedy in Minnesota and Michael Steele in Maryland could upset their Democratic opponents, but he worries about Rick Santorum’s chances in Pennsylvania.
As for 2008, Chambliss interprets Tuesday primary defeat of Joe Lieberman in Connecticut as a blow to Hillary Clinton. The anti-war left has gained a head of steam and he attributes Lieberman’s defeat solely to the situation in Iraq. In his estimation, John Kerry and Al Gore are now the 2008 frontrunners for the Democrats.
For the Republicans, he thought several people would emerge after the first of the year. He claims the only two Senators (from either Party) who are not running for President are from Georgia. Chambliss isn’t sure Rudy Giuliani and John McCain could get through the primary, but thought if McCain could, he could beat anyone the Democrats nominate.
One other item. Not long ago, Senator Chambliss went to Iraq, along with Congressman Linder and a few others from Georgia to visit the 48th Brigade. While there, they were told of some of the “non-military” successes of the 48th. They provided power to a city that never had electricity before. They setup a water purification system for another city that never had clean drinking water. They also took time to transport two children who had second degree burns over most of their bodies from the remote medical facility they were in to a more modern hospital where they received the treatment needed to save their lives. It’s easy to talk of quagmire and trouble, but stories like these simply don’t the coverage they deserve.