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It's my party and I'll take any position I want to

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What was all that fuss about?

Five months after Republicans loudly complained that Gov. Roy Barnes appointed a Democrat to replace the late Sen. Paul Coverdell, that Democrat is sounding Republican in all but name anyway.

Last week, Sen. Zell Miller became the first Democrat to declare support for John Ashcroft, President Bush's controversial nominee for attorney general. On Monday, Miller co-sponsored a $1.3 trillion GOP tax-cut plan that closely mirrors Bush's campaign proposal. And Miller also is upbeat about Bush's education plan -- including a modified version of vouchers intended to steer taxpayer money to private schools.

Miller noted to CL earlier this month that centrist Democrats should get used to offending the extremes of both parties: "It's the hot seat in that we will be pulled by our friends on our left to not go too far that way."

But Miller Press Secretary Joan Kirchner says her boss still has plenty of Democrat in him. She points to his co-sponsorship last fall of campaign-finance reform, which is opposed by most Republicans. Although he'll probably back a ban on so-called partial-birth abortions, Kirchner says Miller also remains strongly pro-choice. And to suggestions that the former Georgia governor is getting set to abandon his lifelong party affiliation?

"Absolutely not!" Kirchner replies. "He's pledged he was going to be bipartisan and that's what he's doing."

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