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Former Sen. Sam Nunn weighs run for White House

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2007/08/18/nunn_0819_1.html Former Sen. Sam Nunn weighs run for White House By JIM GALLOWAY / The Atlanta
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 21 8:02 AM
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      http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2007/08/18/nunn_0819_1.html

      Former Sen. Sam Nunn weighs run for White House

      By JIM GALLOWAY /
      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
      Published on: 08/19/07

      Sam Nunn left the U.S. Senate more than 10 years ago.

      Since then, the Georgia Democrat, who made his name
      nationally as a defense-minded hawk, has watched
      what's happened to the country, and he's more than a
      bit ticked — at the "fiasco" in Iraq, a federal budget
      spinning out of control, the lack of an honest energy
      policy, and a presidential contest that, he says,
      seems designed to thwart serious discussion of the
      looming crises.

      In an hourlong interview, in his small office on
      Marietta Street on the edge of the Georgia Tech
      campus, Nunn acknowledged that he — like former
      Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich — is considering a
      run for the White House next year.

      But unlike Gingrich, Nunn would run outside the
      traditional two-party structure.

      "It's a possibility, not a probability," said Nunn,
      now the head of a nonprofit organization out to reduce
      the threat posed by nuclear, biological and chemical
      weaponry. "My own thinking is, it may be a time for
      the country to say, 'Timeout. The two-party system has
      served us well, historically, but it's not serving us
      now.'"

      The 68-year-old former senator, still considered one
      of the foremost experts on national security,
      confirmed that he's discussed a presidential run as
      part of several conversations with Michael Bloomberg,
      the New York mayor.

      More important, Nunn said he's been in touch with
      Unity '08, a group with a goal of fielding a
      bipartisan or independent ticket for president.
      Initial talks began with Hamilton Jordan, a co-founder
      of Unity '08 and former chief of staff to President
      Jimmy Carter.

      Doug Bailey, a Republican strategist and another
      co-founder, said Nunn was given "a more detailed
      briefing" from the group this summer.

      Nunn said he's not likely to make up his mind until
      next year, probably after the early rush of
      presidential primaries have produced de facto nominees
      for both parties. He said the decision will depend
      largely on what he hears from the current candidates.
      The only certainty, he said, is that he won't be
      anybody's candidate for vice president.

      Former state lawmaker Larry Walker of Perry, a close
      friend who replaced Nunn in the state House 35 years
      ago, believes Nunn is even more serious than his
      comments suggest.

      "I think he's determined to affect the debate in the
      presidential race," he said.

      Walker said Nunn is under no illusion — third-party
      presidential candidates are historically poor
      finishers. "But I also think he realizes the dynamics
      have changed so much as a result of the Internet.
      We're not in the Ross Perot era," Walker said.

      In the interview, Nunn admitted he is also tempted by
      the fact that a presidential run would offer him a
      world stage to press for a revolutionary shift in U.S.
      defense and foreign policy.

      In January, Nunn joined with a coterie of defense and
      diplomatic experts that include Henry Kissinger and
      George Shultz to argue that the collapse of the Soviet
      Union and the rise of terrorism have forever altered
      the calculus of war.

      In a new era in which the chief concern is Islamic
      jihadism, a world security system built around a
      nuclear stand-off between the United States and Russia
      has become "obsolete," Nunn says.

      Ultimately, he said, if there's to be any chance of
      persuading smaller countries to give up nuclear
      weapons technology — and keep it out of the hands of
      increasingly sophisticated terrorists — world powers
      will have to put themselves on a gradual, verifiable
      path toward total nuclear disarmament. That includes
      the United States.

      "What I'm describing is a different world than the one
      I was in during the Cold War," Nunn said.

      A native of Perry who went to Washington at age 34,
      Nunn abandoned national politics at the height of his
      popularity in 1997, two years after Democrats lost
      control of Congress and Nunn lost chairmanship of the
      Senate Armed Services Committee.

      In Democratic circles, Nunn served as a mainstay for
      party centrists, but also developed an unusually
      strong following among Republicans who liked Nunn's
      independence and his emphasis on defense and fiscal
      conservatism.

      Though not as well-known as he once was, Nunn's
      reputation in Georgia remains high. On Tuesday, the
      Rome News-Tribune, responding to the first reports of
      Nunn's interest in the presidency, promptly endorsed
      him.

      Like Carter and Gingrich, who became U.S. House
      speaker in 1994, Nunn was a center of Georgia
      influence in Washington. Unlike Carter and Gingrich,
      he has remained largely out of the limelight in his
      post-Washington years. He's written no books, and — as
      a man who still speaks in paragraphs instead of sound
      bites — isn't a regular on high-paying talk circuits.

      Instead, Nunn has remained quietly plugged into the
      nitty-gritty issues of U.S. defense and foreign
      policy. In July, he was one of four other Americans
      corralled by Kissinger into private talks in Moscow
      with President Vladimir Putin and other Russian
      heavyweights on how to improve U.S.-Russian relations.

      Next week, he returns to Moscow with U.S. Sen. Richard
      Lugar (R-Ind.) to mark the 15th anniversary of the
      Nunn-Lugar Act, which has provided U.S. funding and
      expertise to help the former Soviet Union safeguard
      and dismantle its stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and
      biological weapons.

      Nunn is also CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a
      private charitable organization originally bankrolled
      by Ted Turner. The group's headquarters is in
      Washington, but Nunn operates out of his office at
      Tech, where he holds an honorary professorship.

      Because of his well-mined expertise, for the past 20
      years he has been a perennial possibility when
      presidential tickets are discussed. Each time he's
      quickly said no.

      What's different this time?

      "I am frustrated, and clearly frustrated, with the
      fact that I think my children and grandchildren are
      not going to have the kind of future they should be
      having," Nunn said.

      Political debate has been captured by the extreme
      wings of both parties, he said, ignoring solutions
      that can only be found in the middle.

      "I do not see tough calls willing to be made by the
      body politic," he said.

      Nunn singled out the debate over energy and global
      warming. Those most concerned with global warming
      won't consider nuclear energy as an alternative, he
      said. Those who advocate energy independence ignore
      the fact that there is "no analysis whatsoever that
      could lead you to believe we're going to be
      independent in this country on energy," Nunn said.
      "We'll have interdependence and security in energy,
      but people aren't talking about that."

      But if Nunn does decide to enter the race, Iraq,
      terrorism and the increasingly strained state of the
      U.S. military will also have their place as major
      motivations.

      Though he has said little publicly, his frustration
      over Iraq — he opposed the first Gulf War in '91 — can
      barely be contained. "A fiasco, which we've basically
      mishandled in all directions. We'll get over it,
      because we're a strong country, and we're
      indispensable in the sense that we're the [world]
      leader. But right now,

      it's going to take at least 10 years to rebuild U.S.
      credibility."

      Nor has the Bush administration been able to create
      the necessary climate to make it easy for the world's
      Muslim population to isolate jihadist terrorists, Nunn
      said.

      "We're in a race between cooperation and catastrophe.
      And to get cooperation you have to have a vision, and
      you have to listen. And we're not perceived as having
      a vision in this country, and we're not perceived as
      listening."

      The question is whether the American center — or
      what's left of it — shares his frustration.
    • THOMAS JOHNSON
      I d appreciate any suggestions of movies that reflect accurate portrayals of American history .. I can t think of a single good movie about the American
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 21 11:00 PM
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        I'd appreciate any suggestions of movies that reflect
        accurate portrayals of American history .. I can't
        think of a single good movie about the American
        Revolution or WW1, for instance. Any thoughts?

        Thanks,
        Tom


        >
        > Former Sen. Sam Nunn weighs run for White House
        >
        > By JIM GALLOWAY /
        > The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
        > Published on: 08/19/07
        >
        > Sam Nunn left the U.S. Senate more than 10 years
        > ago.
        >
        > Since then, the Georgia Democrat, who made his name
        > nationally as a defense-minded hawk, has watched
        > what's happened to the country, and he's more than a
        > bit ticked — at the "fiasco" in Iraq, a federal
        > budget
        > spinning out of control, the lack of an honest
        > energy
        > policy, and a presidential contest that, he says,
        > seems designed to thwart serious discussion of the
        > looming crises.
        >
        > In an hourlong interview, in his small office on
        > Marietta Street on the edge of the Georgia Tech
        > campus, Nunn acknowledged that he — like former
        > Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich — is considering a
        > run for the White House next year.
        >
        > But unlike Gingrich, Nunn would run outside the
        > traditional two-party structure.
        >
        > "It's a possibility, not a probability," said Nunn,
        > now the head of a nonprofit organization out to
        > reduce
        > the threat posed by nuclear, biological and chemical
        > weaponry. "My own thinking is, it may be a time for
        > the country to say, 'Timeout. The two-party system
        > has
        > served us well, historically, but it's not serving
        > us
        > now.'"
        >
        > The 68-year-old former senator, still considered one
        > of the foremost experts on national security,
        > confirmed that he's discussed a presidential run as
        > part of several conversations with Michael
        > Bloomberg,
        > the New York mayor.
        >
        > More important, Nunn said he's been in touch with
        > Unity '08, a group with a goal of fielding a
        > bipartisan or independent ticket for president.
        > Initial talks began with Hamilton Jordan, a
        > co-founder
        > of Unity '08 and former chief of staff to President
        > Jimmy Carter.
        >
        > Doug Bailey, a Republican strategist and another
        > co-founder, said Nunn was given "a more detailed
        > briefing" from the group this summer.
        >
        > Nunn said he's not likely to make up his mind until
        > next year, probably after the early rush of
        > presidential primaries have produced de facto
        > nominees
        > for both parties. He said the decision will depend
        > largely on what he hears from the current
        > candidates.
        > The only certainty, he said, is that he won't be
        > anybody's candidate for vice president.
        >
        > Former state lawmaker Larry Walker of Perry, a close
        > friend who replaced Nunn in the state House 35 years
        > ago, believes Nunn is even more serious than his
        > comments suggest.
        >
        > "I think he's determined to affect the debate in the
        > presidential race," he said.
        >
        > Walker said Nunn is under no illusion — third-party
        > presidential candidates are historically poor
        > finishers. "But I also think he realizes the
        > dynamics
        > have changed so much as a result of the Internet.
        > We're not in the Ross Perot era," Walker said.
        >
        > In the interview, Nunn admitted he is also tempted
        > by
        > the fact that a presidential run would offer him a
        > world stage to press for a revolutionary shift in
        > U.S.
        > defense and foreign policy.
        >
        > In January, Nunn joined with a coterie of defense
        > and
        > diplomatic experts that include Henry Kissinger and
        > George Shultz to argue that the collapse of the
        > Soviet
        > Union and the rise of terrorism have forever altered
        > the calculus of war.
        >
        > In a new era in which the chief concern is Islamic
        > jihadism, a world security system built around a
        > nuclear stand-off between the United States and
        > Russia
        > has become "obsolete," Nunn says.
        >
        > Ultimately, he said, if there's to be any chance of
        > persuading smaller countries to give up nuclear
        > weapons technology — and keep it out of the hands of
        > increasingly sophisticated terrorists — world powers
        > will have to put themselves on a gradual, verifiable
        > path toward total nuclear disarmament. That includes
        > the United States.
        >
        > "What I'm describing is a different world than the
        > one
        > I was in during the Cold War," Nunn said.
        >
        > A native of Perry who went to Washington at age 34,
        > Nunn abandoned national politics at the height of
        > his
        > popularity in 1997, two years after Democrats lost
        > control of Congress and Nunn lost chairmanship of
        > the
        > Senate Armed Services Committee.
        >
        > In Democratic circles, Nunn served as a mainstay for
        > party centrists, but also developed an unusually
        > strong following among Republicans who liked Nunn's
        > independence and his emphasis on defense and fiscal
        > conservatism.
        >
        > Though not as well-known as he once was, Nunn's
        > reputation in Georgia remains high. On Tuesday, the
        > Rome News-Tribune, responding to the first reports
        > of
        > Nunn's interest in the presidency, promptly endorsed
        > him.
        >
        > Like Carter and Gingrich, who became U.S. House
        > speaker in 1994, Nunn was a center of Georgia
        > influence in Washington. Unlike Carter and Gingrich,
        > he has remained largely out of the limelight in his
        > post-Washington years. He's written no books, and —
        > as
        > a man who still speaks in paragraphs instead of
        > sound
        > bites — isn't a regular on high-paying talk
        > circuits.
        >
        > Instead, Nunn has remained quietly plugged into the
        > nitty-gritty issues of U.S. defense and foreign
        > policy. In July, he was one of four other Americans
        > corralled by Kissinger into private talks in Moscow
        > with President Vladimir Putin and other Russian
        > heavyweights on how to improve U.S.-Russian
        > relations.
        >
        > Next week, he returns to Moscow with U.S. Sen.
        > Richard
        > Lugar (R-Ind.) to mark the 15th anniversary of the
        > Nunn-Lugar Act, which has provided U.S. funding and
        > expertise to help the former Soviet Union safeguard
        > and dismantle its stockpiles of nuclear, chemical
        > and
        > biological weapons.
        >
        > Nunn is also CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a
        > private charitable organization originally
        > bankrolled
        > by Ted Turner. The group's headquarters is in
        > Washington, but Nunn operates out of his office at
        > Tech, where he holds an honorary professorship.
        >
        > Because of his well-mined expertise, for the past 20
        > years he has been a perennial possibility when
        > presidential tickets are discussed. Each time he's
        > quickly said no.
        >
        > What's different this time?
        >
        > "I am frustrated, and clearly frustrated, with the
        > fact that I think my children and grandchildren are
        > not going to have the kind of future they should be
        > having," Nunn said.
        >
        > Political debate has been captured by the extreme
        > wings of both parties, he said, ignoring solutions
        > that can only be found in the middle.
        >
        > "I do not see tough calls willing to be made by the
        > body politic," he said.
        >
        > Nunn singled out the debate over energy and global
        > warming. Those most concerned with global warming
        > won't consider nuclear energy as an alternative, he
        > said. Those who advocate energy independence ignore
        > the fact that there is "no analysis whatsoever that
        > could lead you to believe we're going to be
        > independent in this country on energy," Nunn said.
        >
        === message truncated ===
      • Ram Lau
        A Nunn-Lugar ticket, perhaps?
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 26 7:17 AM
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          A Nunn-Lugar ticket, perhaps?
        • THOMAS JOHNSON
          Nunn-Bloomberg... Nunn-Hagel?
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 26 7:56 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            Nunn-Bloomberg... Nunn-Hagel?



            --- Ram Lau <ramlau@...> wrote:

            > A Nunn-Lugar ticket, perhaps?
            >
            >
            >
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