Oct. 6, 2002: Now a Word From Zell Miller

Hello, my name is Zell Miller. Even though I am not running for anything, I am on television these days more than that babbling psychologist Dr. Phil. You see me so much in this election year because I will endorse anything breathing – as long as it is a Democrat. I once endorsed my yellow dog Fred, for the Legislature. Fred won and nobody knew the difference because, frankly, the dog wasn’t very bright and he fit right in.

It is a distinct pleasure for me to endorse the re-election of my colleague from Georgia, Senator Mack Cleveland. Despite what you may have heard, Senator Clevemore and I are philosophically of one mind. The only time we ever disagree is when the Senate is considering any piece of legislation on any subject. For example, my friend Mark did vote to kick the Boy Scouts out of public school buildings, a measure I opposed, but he told me later the Senate Majority Weasel, Tom Daschle, threatened to move Rockdale County to South Dakota if he didn’t cooperate.

Some people make a big deal out of the fact that I support President Bush’s security initiatives. Let me assure you that Senator Matt Cliburn is strongly for the legislation as well, except that he wants to placate the labor unions by naming Jimmy Hoffa (the guy who disappeared 30 years ago, not his son) to head the Homeland Security agency. That problem doesn’t strike me as insurmountable, assuming we can find Hoffa.

In addition to supporting my good friend, Mort Cleaver, I am also pleased to offer my endorsement to longtime political ally, House Speaker Tom Murphy. Hopefully, my endorsement will put to rest the scurrilous media rumors that Tom Murphy and I feuded constantly when I was in state government. Nothing could be further from the truth. He actually encouraged me to run for governor, the second highest office in the state.

This is an opportunity to repay an old debt to the speaker, who was a great friend to my yellow dog, Fred. In fact, Fred sponsored legislation that makes it a felony for any school in Georgia to defeat the Bremen High School Fighting Murphs in any sport other than Alpine skiing. In appreciation for Fred’s efforts, Speaker Murphy made him chairdog of several important committees and even taught him to sit up and beg, just like the other members of the Legislature.

People who have followed my career know that I was once elected lieutenant governor for life, so I know a lot about that important post. That is why I endorse the current lieutenant governor, whatever his name is. We have to be mighty careful who we put in that position. After the speaker of the house, governor, agriculture commissioner, fire marshal, all the legislative committee chairs, our official state poet and anyone who writes a newspaper column, lieutenant governor is one of the most critical jobs in Georgia. Our state deserves four more years of the big guy who I think has the job now.

I also have the honor of endorsing Governor Roy Barnes for re-election. Since he has been governor, our economy has gone into the dumper, schoolteachers are fighting mad about the education reform legislation that made them out to be the bad guys and everybody who thinks we still live in the 19th century is raw about the new state flag. Roy Barnes has made my two terms as governor look better and better. Please remember that I am the person responsible for creating the HOPE scholarship and for being unable to get the state flag changed.

I also want to thank Governor Barnes for appointing me to the U.S. Senate, where I have become an instant folk hero because of my candidness. I’m not sure I want to hang around Washington for another six years with the likes of a Tom Daschle clone like Sen. Milt Clayburn but if I do, I may run in Texas since most people think I am Phil Gramm.

By the way, Fred has decided he wants to get back in politics. I’m not quite sure what he wants to do but as long as he does it as a Democrat, he has my unqualified endorsement.