Democrats reel after Nunn decides to quit Senate
Tuesday 10 October 1995
Though far from unexpected, his decision not to seek a fifth six-year term dismayed a party still struggling to adjust to its minority status on Capitol Hill and whose goal is less to regain control of the Senate than to prevent the Republicans next year increasing their 53 seats to a filibuster-proof majority of 60.
Speaking at the state Capitol in Atlanta where his political career began in 1968, Mr Nunn said he was seeking "more freedom, more flexibility" for his career, and emphasised he was not bowing out of the public arena - he has been touted as a possible Secretary of State should Bill Clinton win a second term.
Clearly, he was frustrated by the prospect of a long time in opposition, and by the shift to the left of the congressional Democratic party. Of the eight Democratic departures from the Senate next year so far announced, his will be the most damaging to party morale.
Like Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, who declared in August that he was stepping down, Mr Nunn is a pragmatic centrist, ready if necessary to go against the party line and an authoritative figure on both sides of the aisle. Such is his prestige that even Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, which he used to chair, are said privately to have implored him to stay.
Even more important, the Democrats will lose perhaps their most powerful bulwark in the South, increasingly a Republican preserve in congressional and presidential elections. Mr Nunn's move proved that Southern Democrats were "in full retreat," said Alphonse D'Amato of New York, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Republicans will have high hopes of the Nunn seat. Almost all the eight Democratic vacancies are vulnerable - but few more so than his in Georgia, seven of whose 11 Congressmen are Republican, including House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who could not resist a partisan shot yesterday: "For those who have listened carefully, the Democratic Party is not the vehicle for values outlined by Senator Nunn."
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Gay couple buy JebBushForPresident.com web domain, and refuse to sell
16 Waitrose customers who could not cope with the end of free coffee
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...