Chambliss has long been viewed as a shoo-in for a vice presidential slot in 2008. But . . . .
Republicans pondering a political shift to the middle after their losses in midterm elections might consider the example of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush before setting their course.
Mr. Bush, who is stepping down this month because of term limits after eight years in office, has a track record as one of the nation's most socially and economically conservative politicians, yet he enjoys a nearly 65% approval rating in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. His brand of conservatism -- a mix of conservative political stands and activist governance -- has paid off for him in a way it hasn't for his brother in the White House.
His public support in a key swing state, his recent launch of a political advocacy group and the departure of two of his high-level aides to join the possible presidential campaign of another conservative governor suggest Mr. Bush will exert substantial influence over his party in the 2008 election and beyond.
At the least, he looks likely to be a significant power broker, despite the heavy toll the Iraq war has taken on his older brother's public-approval rating. The younger Bush has said he has no plans to seek the presidency in 2008. But he hasn't been as assertive in batting down persistent speculation among his closest backers that he might consider the No. 2 spot on a presidential ticket.
Today's the Political Insider in the ajc notes:
Chambliss has long been viewed as a shoo-in for a vice presidential slot in 2008. His Georgia roots could serve as a regional balance to any ticket-leader from the North or Midwest. He’s telegenic, and he’s got a commanding view of international affairs from his seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
All that may have changed in November, one of our well-read Republican friends pointed out this morning. If Republicans are to have any chance — slim though it may be — of taking back the Senate in two years, Chambliss may obliged to keep his seat.
As red as Georgia may be, an open Senate seat is still a gamble — and would drain valuable GOP resources.