From the floor of the U.S. Senate today, retiring U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss gave a farewell speech to his fellow Senators, both past and present. He also thanked the Senate staffers, the citizens of Georgia, and those that have served in the U.S. Military. He took time to recognize his family, including his wife of almost 48 years, Julianne.
Chambliss served in the U.S. House from 1995 to 2003 and has been serving in the U.S. Senate since 2003. He is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the former Chairman and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and a member of both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.
Sen. Johnny Isakson also gave a 2 minute farewell to his friend Saxby Chambliss. They have been friends since their time together at UGA in the early 1960’s. They have served together in Congress since 1999 and have been in the Senate together since 2005.
The text of and video link to Isakson’s farewell to Chambliss can be found after the break.
Sen. Johnny Isakson:
“Mr. President, I rise to pay tribute to my friend, Saxby Chambliss.
I will have to admit to you this is a speech I never wanted to make. I never wanted to make it because we’ve had a wonderful relationship in this body for the last 10 years. We’ve done everything together.
He’s had my back, I’ve had his back; he’s a great friend and I’ll miss him.
But I’m not a selfish guy. He married one of the finest women I’ve ever known, Julianne, who is one of the best friends my wife has. I know he’s leaving us and I’ll miss the crutch I’ve used. She is getting her Saxby back and she and her family and those grandkids he loves so much. That’s exactly what Saxby wants to do.
Georgia has had some great senators. Richard Russell, really the master of the senate; Zell Miller, the former governor of Georgia, a friend of mine and mentor to our state; and Sam Nunn, one of the finest in national defense and foreign policy our state ever offered.
Saxby will be the fourth on the Mount Rushmore of Georgia senators who served Georgia with distinction and with class.
I want to tell Saxby this personally. For ten years we’ve done a joint press conferences. We’ve messed up twice and, when I messed up, he covered my back, and when he messed up, I covered his. In fact, in 2008 when he almost lost a race and got into a runoff, in December in Georgia I rode a bus for 21 straight days introducing him three times a day and eating barbecue every day for dinner and lunch. That’s a price to pay only friendship will bring out of anybody.
But he’s a dear friend and I love him very much and I love his family very much. I could talk all day but I wanted to open up and close by saying, Saxby, I love you, the state’s going to love having you back. The country will miss you but my grandchildren are safer, my state is better and our relationship has never been stronger.
May God bless you and your family in every endeavor you take and may god bless the United States of America.”