The Spectacle Blog

Nunn the Less

By on 5.29.08 | 11:45AM

The Prowler reports on the main site that Sam Nunn, the former Georgia senator, is actually being vetted by the Obama camp. Nunn brings some of the advantages that Webb would, and then some. Like Webb, he is a respected voice on foreign and military affairs who was a Cold War hawk rather than a McGovernite. Also like Webb, he opposed the Iraq war (he also voted against the first Persian Gulf War, probably in anticipation of a 1992 presidential bid, though for obvious reasons that did not work out as well for Nunn politically). Nunn chaired the Armed Services Committee.

Unlike Webb, Nunn actually was frequently to the right of the Democratic Party line in the Senate. He was instrumental in beating back Bill Clinton's gays in the military gambit and also voted against the 1993 Clinton tax increase. Nunn was also among the conservative Democrats who helped get the BTU-based energy tax dropped from the budget. He was originally pro-life and continued to support some abortion restrictions after becoming pro-choice. Although not fully on board with the Reagan program, he did help fortify the 1980s supply-side consensus. And between Nunn and Bob Barr, McCain might really have to fight for Georgia, which Ross Perot helped Bill Clinton carry in 1992.

The Prowler's Democratic sources raise some Larison-like objections to Nunn: They argue he would tower over Obama and emphasize his weaknesses rather than compensate for them. It's also worth noting that Nunn has been out of office for over a decade, is unfamiliar to most voters, and has become something of a nuclear-weapons abolitionist. It's not difficult to imagine how that last position might be portrayed on the campaign trail.

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