Zell Miller

Zell Miller

Zell Miller
United States Senator
from Georgia
In office
July 27, 2000 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Paul Coverdell
Succeeded by John H. Isakson
79th Governor of Georgia
In office
January 14, 1991 – January 11, 1999
Lieutenant Pierre Howard
Preceded by Joe Frank Harris
Succeeded by Roy Barnes
8th Lieutenant Governor of Georgia
In office
January 14, 1975 – January 14, 1991
Governor George Busbee
Joe Frank Harris
Preceded by Lester Maddox
Succeeded by Pierre Howard
Personal details
Born Zell Bryan Miller
(1932-02-24) February 24, 1932
Georgia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Shirley Carver Miller
Alma mater Young Harris College
University of Georgia
Profession Lobbyist
Religion Methodist
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1953–1956
Rank Sergeant

Zell Bryan Miller (born February 24, 1932) is an American politician from the United States Senator from 2000 to 2005.

Miller is a John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.

Miller did not seek re-election in 2004. After leaving the Senate, he joined the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge as a non-lawyer professional in the firm's national government affairs practice.[1] Miller was also a Fox News Channel contributor.


  • Early life and military career 1
  • Political career 2
    • Governor 2.1
    • Senate 2.2
    • Speech at 2004 Republican National Convention 2.3
  • Remarks on Bush election, 2004 3
  • Support for Republicans 4
  • Life after politics 5
    • Justice Sunday II 5.1
  • Awards 6
  • See also 7
  • Books 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Early life and military career

Miller was born in the small mountain town of University of Georgia.

Less than a month after the Korean War armistice (a cessation of hostilities), Miller wound up in a
Political offices
Preceded by
Lester Maddox
Lieutenant Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
Pierre Howard
Preceded by
Joe Frank Harris
Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
Roy Barnes
United States Senate
Preceded by
Paul Coverdell
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Georgia
Served alongside: Max Cleland, Saxby Chambliss
Succeeded by
Johnny Isakson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Joe Frank Harris
Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
Roy Barnes
Preceded by
Michael Coles
U.S. Senator from Georgia
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Denise Majette
Preceded by
Susan Molinari
1996 Republican National Convention
Keynote Speaker of the Republican National Convention
Succeeded by
Rudy Giuliani
2008 Republican National Convention

External links

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  2. ^ Blackwood, Harris: "Zell pens history of Young Harris, signs copies of new book today" Gainesville Times, December 11, 2007
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  25. ^ McCaffrey, Shannon. "Gingrich remains a candidate, but how serious?" Associated Press, June 10, 2011.
  26. ^ http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/zell-miller-releases-ad-throwing-support-michelle-/ng3Hr/
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  • 1998: "Listen to this Voice" Selected Speeches of Governor Zell Miller
  • 1999: Zell, The Governor Who Gave Georgia HOPE by Richard Hyatt
  • 1999: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered: The Miller Record

About Zell Miller:

  • 1975: Mountains Within Me
  • 1983: Great Georgians
  • 1985: They Heard Georgia Singing
  • 1997: Corps Values: Everything You Need to Know I Learned In the Marines
  • 1999: The First Battalion of the 28th Marines on Iwo Jima: A Day-By-Day History from Personal Accounts and Official Reports, With Complete Muster Rolls, also by Robert E. Allen
  • 2003: A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat
  • 2003: foreword to What'll Ya Have: A History of the Varsity by Dick Parker
  • 2005: A Deficit Of Decency
  • 2005: foreword to "Indivisible: Uniting Values for a Divided America" by Martha Zoller
  • 2007: "The Miracle of Brasstown Valley"
  • 2009: "Purt Nigh Gone: The Old Mountain Ways"

By Zell Miller:


See also

In 1998, he received an honorary degree in Doctor of Laws from Oglethorpe University.[31]


Miller criticized the United States Supreme Court, saying that it had "removed prayer from our public schools … legalized the barbaric killing of unborn babies and it is ready to discard like an outdated hula hoop the universal institution of marriage between a man and a woman."[30]

Miller was a speaker at "Tony Perkins and James Dobson, and held in Nashville, Tennessee on August 14, 2005.

Justice Sunday II

Miller's health took a downward turn in the late 2000s when he developed shingles and subsequently suffered two falls that resulted in broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a broken back. Today Miller walks with a cane and has an electronic device implanted in his body that dispenses a pain killer when activated by remote control.[22]

The former Student Learning Center (SLC) at the Zell B. Miller Learning Center (Miller Learning Center or MLC for short) in October 2010.

He is a Freemason.[29]

In 2005, Miller was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association.[28]

In August 2005, President Bush appointed Miller to the American Battle Monuments Commission.[27]

Life after politics

Miller has remained a harsh critic of President Barack Obama.

In 2014, Miller endorsed major Georgia candidates in both parties. He made a TV ad calling for the election of re-elected.

for President in 2012. Mitt Romney Miller also endorsed former Massachusetts Governor [22] In 2012, Miller served as the national co-chair to the campaign of Republican presidential candidate

He declared early in 2008 that he would not support either Senator Jim Martin and criticized Obama over "spreading the wealth."[24]

In 2004, he cosponsored the Although nominally a member of the Democratic Party, Miller has endorsed Republicans since at least 2004. He backed

Support for Republicans

on November 4, 2004, in which he wrote: Washington TimesAfter Bush won the election of 2004, Miller referred to the Republican victories in that election (including a sweep of five open Senate seats in the South) as a sign that Democrats did not relate to most Americans. Calling for Democrats to change their message, he authored a column, which appeared in the

Remarks on Bush election, 2004

Shortly thereafter, Miller appeared in an interview with Chris Matthews on the MSNBC show Hardball. Here, Miller became visibly angry. Matthews criticized the premise of Miller's assertion that Kerry had actually voted against such defense programs by noting that in voting on appropriations bills, senators often vote against a version of a bill without wishing to oppose every item in that bill. Matthews also asked Miller to compare his assertion that a military under Kerry would be armed with only "spitballs" with rhetoric from Democrats that Republicans "want to starve little kids, they want to get rid of education, they want to kill the old people" and whether such level of rhetoric was constructive. When Miller expressed irritation at this line of questioning, Matthews pressed Miller with the question, "Do you believe now – do you believe, Senator, truthfully, that John Kerry wants to defend the country with spitballs?" Miller at first said that he wished the interview had been face-to-face so that he could "get a little closer up into your face." Miller angrily told Matthews to "get out of my face," and declared, "I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel." At the conclusion of the interview, Matthews asked "Let's be friends," which Miller ignored.[21] Miller later said about the interview, "That was terrible. I embarrassed myself. I’d rather it had not happened."[22]

Miller's combative reaction to post-speech media interviews received almost as much attention as the speech itself. First, in an interview with CNN, Miller had a dispute with Judy Woodruff, Wolf Blitzer, and Jeff Greenfield when they questioned him on his speech, particularly on whether he had misinterpreted the context and full content of Kerry's votes, and the fact that Dick Cheney, as Defense Secretary, had opposed some of the same programs he attacked Kerry for voting against.[20]

The speech was well received by the convention attendees, especially the Georgia delegates. Conservative commentator Michael Barone compared the speech to the views and ideology of Andrew Jackson.[19]

In his keynote convention speech, delivered on September 1, 2004, Miller criticized the current state of the Democratic Party. He said, "No pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two senators from Massachusetts – Ted Kennedy and John Kerry." He also criticized John Kerry's Senate voting record, claiming that Kerry's votes against bills for defense and weapon systems indicated support for weakening U.S. military strength.

Speech at 2004 Republican National Convention

Democratic Congresswoman Denise Majette sought to fill Miller's Senate seat, but lost the 2004 election to Republican Johnny Isakson, who was endorsed by Miller.

Despite Miller's frequent disagreements with his own party, he did occasionally support some of their positions. For example, he was a strong supporter of the Iraq War.[17]

Miller argued in his book A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat (authored and published in 2003) that the Democratic Party lost its majority because it does not stand for the same ideals that it did in the era of John F. Kennedy. He argued that the Democratic Party, as it now stands, is a far left-wing party that is out of touch with the America of today and that the Republican Party now embraces the conservative Democratic ideals that he has held for so long. The book spent nine weeks in the New York Times Best Seller list for hardback non-fiction, rising to fourth position.[16]

Miller established himself as a conservative on virtually all economic issues. He was the first Democrat in the Senate to publicly declare his support for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, a broad-based tax cut which was criticized by opponents for favoring the rich and being fiscally irresponsible. Miller was the only Democrat to vote against an amendment to that same bill submitted by Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) to scale back portions of that tax cut in order to spend more on education and debt reduction. He strongly opposed the estate tax and voted a number of times for its repeal. He also advocated drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Later that year, he proposed a Constitutional amendment to repeal the 17th Amendment.[15] If the amendment had been ratified, the members of state legislatures would elect members to the United States Senate, rather than the residents of the states.[15]

[14] and Ralph Reed).

In 2003, Miller announced that he would not seek re-election after completing his term in the Senate.[9] He also announced that he would support 2004 presidential election rather than any of the nine candidates then competing for his own party's nomination.[10] He maintained this position after fellow Senator John Kerry became the Democratic nominee, and Miller, who had been a keynote speaker at the 1992 Democratic National Convention, was subsequently announced to be a keynote speaker at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

In 2002, Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.) was involved in a contentious re-election campaign against Republican Congressman Saxby Chambliss. The race galvanized Democrats across the nation, who said Chambliss had questioned the patriotism of Cleland, a disabled Vietnam veteran. Miller remained true to the Democrats in this case, campaigning hard for Cleland despite their ideological differences. But after Chambliss won, Miller formed a close working relationship with him. He also moved even further to the right, presumably because it had become increasingly difficult for a Democrat to win statewide in Georgia.

During 2001 and 2002, when liberal Republican senators from New England like James Jeffords and Lincoln Chafee threatened to (and in Jeffords' case, did) leave their party over ideological disputes, rumors abounded that Miller would become a Republican in order to return control of the Senate to that party. These rumors were dispelled with Miller saying, "I'll be a Democrat 'til the day I die."[8]

Throughout Zell Miller's career as a U.S. Senator he showed increasing support for Republicans and increasing criticism of Democrats, leading some to question whether his fellow Democrats in the Senate had given him a lukewarm reception. However, given his beginnings as a conservative southern Democrat, it is likely he found his views drastically different from the more liberal ideology of the national party.

As Coverdell had last been elected in 1998, Miller had four years remaining in the Senate term before his retirement from politics in January 2005, following the conclusion of the 108th United States Congress.

Miller's successor as governor, George W. Bush, and promised to work for bipartisanship in the Senate.


Upon leaving the Governor's office in January 1999, Miller accepted teaching positions at Young Harris College, Emory University, and the University of Georgia. He was a visiting professor at all three institutions when he was appointed to the U.S. Senate.

Miller's biggest election battle came in 1994. That election was a turning point in Miller's career, arguing it gave him a desire to prove himself a cultural conservative. One cited piece of evidence is that in the late 1990s through the early 2000s, he gradually shifted from being pro-choice to pro-life.

As governor, Miller was a staunch promoter of public education. He helped found the GPA of 3.0 in high school and maintained the same while in college, and who were from families earning less than $66,000 per year.[6] The HOPE Scholarships were funded by revenue collected from the state lottery and from state income taxes. In December 1995, his office announced a proposal for $1 billion more in spending on education.[7] HOPE won praise from national Democratic leaders. The HOPE Scholarship program still to this day provides Georgia students with an opportunity to attend a public college or university, who otherwise may have no opportunity to do so.

In 1991, Miller endorsed Governor Dan Quayle:

Miller was elected governor of Georgia in 1990, defeating Republican Johnny Isakson (who later became his successor as U.S. Senator) after defeating Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and future Governor Roy Barnes in the primary. Miller campaigned on the concept of term limits and pledged to seek only a single term as Governor. He later ran for and won reelection. James Carville was Miller's campaign manager.


Miller's first experience in the executive branch of government was as Chief of Staff for Georgia governor Herman Talmadge in the Democratic primary for his seat in the United States Senate.

Miller's parents were both involved in local politics in the North Georgia mountains. Miller, a Democrat, was a mayor of Young Harris from 1959 to 1960, and was elected to two terms as a Georgia Democratic Party.

Political career

In addition to serving as an elected official, Miller taught at Emory University.

In the twelve weeks of hell and transformation that were Marine Corps boot camp, I learned the values of achieving a successful life that have guided and sustained me on the course which, although sometimes checkered and detoured, I have followed ever since.
, he wrote: Corps Values: Everything You Need to Know I Learned in the Marines. He often refers to the value of his experience in the Marine Corps in his writing and stump speeches; in his book on the subject, entitled sergeant, Miller attained the rank of United States Marine Corps Upon his release, Miller enlisted in the Marines. During his three years in the [3]