June 25, 2004
The speech will be on Wednesday night of that week, and come 12 years after delivering the keynote speech at the 1992 Democratic National Convention that nominated Bill Clinton for his first term in office.
The announcement of Miller's speech at the GOP convention brought a sharp rebuke from fellow Democrats, including US House member John Lewis (D-GA).
"I think he has sold his soul for a mess of pottage," Lewis said, a reference to a speech Miller gave 40 years ago in which he argued that President Johnson was abandoning his Southern roots by pushing some civil rights issues. Pottage is defined as a thick soup or stew of vegetables.Miller has stepped away from the vindictive partisan politics that has characterized the attitude that the Democratic party has held toward the Bush Administration. Miller has also stood staunchly behind the President on matters relating to the war on terror.
Bobby Kahn, the chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party, said he wasn't surprised.
"Maybe I'll switch to the Republican Party so I can speak at the Democratic Convention and bash Bush," Kahn said. "It makes about as much sense."
Kahn was a top aide to Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes, who appointed Miller to the Senate following the death of Miller's predecessor, Republican Sen. Paul Coverdell.
"I advocated his appointment," Kahn said of Miller. "He said he would be independent and he was for a while, but he hasn't been lately. He's been in lockstep with the Republicans and I don't know what's happened to him. It's really kind of sad."
Miller, who is retiring in January, has voted with Republicans more often than his own party and has been a key sponsor of many of Bush's top legislative priorities, including the Republican's tax cuts and education plan.An offical annoucement of Miller's speech will come from the Bush-Cheney camp later today.
In May, Miller spoke at the Georgia Republican convention and criticized Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry as an "out-of-touch, ultraliberal from Taxachusetts" whose foreign and domestic policies would seriously weaken the country.
"I'm afraid that my old Democratic 'ties that bind' have become unraveled," Miller said.
Miller's recent book, "A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat," is now a national best-seller. In it, he assails members of his own party, including Clinton.
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