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Chambliss chats on his win, new administration

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

December 3, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  A relieved Senator Saxby Chambliss is preparing for a second term in the U.S. Senate.  He cruised to a runoff win over Jim Martin Tuesday night.  Wednesday,  Chambliss talked about the significance of his win and how he plans to work with the new administration.

Fresh off his victory party and a four week runoff campaign that raised over five million dollars, Chambliss said his campaign's success will be a model for future republicans campaigns.

"From a party standpoint going forward we can walk away from this election knowing now that if we return to those basic core values we can continue to be successful in future elections," said Chambliss.

As volunteers from 43 states head home and Chambliss returns to Moultrie for a break, he talked about the significance of retaining his seat and seniority giving him a greater presence for Georgia in Washington.

"I'll be, I think, number four in seniority on the armed services committee, I'll continue to be number one on the agriculture committee, I'll be very high on the intelligence committee so that in and of itself gives us a different statue in Washington," said Chambliss.

Chambliss also explained being number 41 holds more significance than being elected number 51 the first time because with 60 votes democrats could have restructured his committee assignments.

"The rules of the Senate say it takes 60 votes to change the make up of committees the one thing I can guarantee you is all 41 of us or 42 of us are going to stick together when it comes to making sure we don't change the ratio of provisions for committee assignments," said Chambliss.

He's watching appointments to Obama's cabinet closely saying both parties must work together to repair the country's economy.

"I know Senator Clinton very well and I know Governor Richardson very well and those types of individuals have always been willing to work across the isle and willing to dialogue with republicans and I'm confident that they're going to continue to do that," said Chambliss.

Chambliss favors Obama's proposals for tax incentives to help the economy over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plan to send out more stimulus checks that Chambliss said didn't help the first time.

Chambliss said he expects the confirmation committee would have plenty of questions for Obama's choice for Attorney General when the confirmation process begins.

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