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14 September 2008

Bill Shipp: "Saxby looks like a winner on Election Day"

And if the Dean of Georgia politics, Bill Shipp, says it, then it must be true.

In an column appearing in today's Athens Banner-Herald, Bill Shipp writes that regardless of his status as a Vietnam veteran, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Martin probably won't unseat his Republican opponent in November.

The reason why?

Because Saxby Chambliss "is a Republican, he looks the part of a senator, and at the end of the day, not many folks give a damn whether he's a veteran or not." [Source: Athens Banner-Herald, "Shipp: Vet backing not enough to topple Chambliss", September 14, 2008]

Bill Shipp also writes that "once upon a time, a clever campaign director could have used the candidates' vet/non-vet status to carve out victory for the military man. That time may have passed."

Bill Shipp does have a point.

The time when being a military veteran was almost enough to get elected to public office has ended. If it didn't end in 2002 when Saxby Chambliss pulled out all the stops to defeat Max Cleland, a triple-amputee Vietnam vet, then it almost certainly ended in 2004 when Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (D - Massachusetts), another Vietnam vet, was portrayed as a flip-flopping wimp.

And for our veterans who continue to have a desire to serve their country, that is a very discouraging thought.