I'm still trying to figure out how the proud voters of the Peach State first went for Chambliss - who had eagerly avoided military service - in 2002 against the Democratic incumbent senator, Max Cleland, a triple amputee from his service in Vietnam. Chambliss got away with describing his opponent as a wimp on fighting terrorism. Georgia Republicans are an easy sell.
So now here was Mike Duncan, the incidental chairman of the Republican National Committee, crowing that Saxby's win was so profound that it serves as irrefutable evidence that Barack Obama doesn't have a mandate to lead the country. Let him explain:
"Georgians clearly sent a message that any rhetoric about a liberal mandate is nothing but hot air."
Message to whom? He didn't say. But he did say that Saxby gave the GOP conservatives the "momentum" that the party had been seeking since Obama's...um...mandate-less triumph on Nov. 4.
All of this high-level consideration of mandates led me to put it in some kind of historical context to define the word.
Back in 2004, moments after the fateful numbers that sent him to the Oval Office a second time, George Bush clearly exercised his thoughts about his next four years with a boastful threat to anyone who might stand in his way. "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital," Dubya sounded off, "and now I intend to spend it. It is my style." Cool.
This is where I went off the track with Chairman Duncan. Using his logic, Bush won with a 3 million vote margin, a hefty 50.7 pct. vs. Kerry's skimpy 48.3 pct. Obama edged McCain by more than 9 million votes - 52.7 pct. to 45.8 pct. Hardly enough to convince Duncan that Obama had earned enough "political capital" to claim a mandate.
So I ask: How dumb do you have to be these days to serve as the Republican National Committee's chairman? Just asking. Obviously, math is not a prerequisite.