And the names don't stop there. While the national press bit on a Newt Gingrich hint that he might run for president again in 2016, they missed the fact that the same issue of paying off his considerable debt from the 2012 bid -- a problem for another presidential race -- might disappear should he choose to serve in the U.S. Senate as the best known and most influential freshman in U.S. history.
Gingrich is reportedly telling Chambliss intimates not to worry -- that is, for now. But with his huge name identification and a recent Georgia presidential primary win under his belt, early polling would not only show Gingrich ahead of Chambliss, but by a wide enough margin to have money that would otherwise go early on toward a Senate bid instead to debt retirement. Additional donations would go toward taking on Chambliss.
There are just too many intangibles at the moment to determine whether Chambliss really is vulnerable to any GOP primary opponent (Democrats are another issue, but are likely six or more years away from winning a major statewide contest in Georgia). Chief among those intangibles is the mood of the public, both now and in two years.
As of now, the public is likely to be led a bit more toward the middle -- responding to the inevitable "crisis" and typical market tailspin that now is part of the necessary drama needed in Washington to rush through a "compromise" solution at the eleventh hour.
The greater issue will be in the spring of 2014. If the economy is strong and people have adjusted to any changes made as a result of some tax compromise -- then Chambliss and others will sail to re-election. This is particularly true if, in the process of creating a compromise, Chambliss saves the defense industry and set military cuts that would impact his state.
But if the so-called economic recovery fails to materialize or a "grand compromise" ends up with negative unintended consequences, Chambliss and many of his colleagues up for re-election could face a really hot summer of 2014.
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