Saxby Chambliss heads to U.S. Senate - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Saxby Chambliss heads to U.S. Senate

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November 21, 2002

Washington, D.C.-- Congressman Saxby Chambliss arrives on Capitol Hill for the first time as Senator-Elect Saxby Chambliss.

"It hasn't sunk in, yet," says Chambliss.

It's only 9:00 AM, but already he's met with his House Intelligence committee staff, and now he's headed for a quick coffee with Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott.

It is eight days since Chambliss won a grueling race for this Senate Seat. At his soon to be vacant Congressional office, phones are ringing off the hook with congratulatory calls, and lobbyists are already paying visits to Georgia's Junior Senator-elect.

While Chambliss' staff is busy packing up eight years worth of Congressional work, the Senator-Elect is busy bouncing around the Capitol.

" I'm going back and forth between voting in the House and taking part in Senate leadership elections and working with the Republican leadership team," says Chambliss.

And in the middle of it all, the voice of terror. Confirmation that a newly released audio tape is Osama Bin Laden.

"This could've been a signal for operatives to move forward with a terrorist attack," speculates Chambliss.

At noon, Chambliss swings by a luncheon for Georgia's House delegation, but there's no time to eat. He's off to a Senate Republican Leadership luncheon at the Capitol.

At two, he and seven other newly elected Republican Senators emerge to savor their victory, offer thanks and promise a better future to Americans.

"I'm looking forward to working with this group to move America forward," says the senator-elect.

Next stop for Chambliss, Senator Trent Lott's office again. Lott has just been chosen Senate Majority Leader again and he will make committee assignments.

As Chambliss talks transition with consultant Tom Perdue, there's word that Sadaam Hussein will allow weapons inspectors.

"We shouldn't trust him one bit," says Chambliss.

Outside, three blocks from the Capitol, there's a bomb threat at the Agriculture Department. No explosives were found.

And business on The Hill continues. The house gets ready to vote on the Homeland Security Bill.

That, and a couple of continuing resolutions, will be Chambliss' final votes as a Congressman.

"My last House vote will be emotional," says Chambliss.

There've been a lot of emotional moments for Saxby Chambliss in the last 18 months.

"Some said this race was a gamble, but not if you run for the right reasons," he said.

Gamble or not, Chambliss won,  and in six weeks, will be sworn in as Georgia's newest United States Senator.

posted at 4:00PM by dawnh@walb.com