Kemp to name Georgia’s next U.S. senator on Wednesday: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has scheduled a 10 a.m. Wednesday briefing to fill the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson on Dec. 31. Isakson is retiring because of mounting health issues. Kemp is expected to appoint Kelly Loeffler to the post. Scheduled to attend Wednesday’s announcement: Members of Congress, state leaders, state GOP officials and othes. Where to watch: www.facebook.com/GovKemp.
>Click the above to hear Just the Rant from Monday, Dec. 2.
In addition to the world’s great audience and the pay checks, the things we miss the most about our radio edition are many of our guests. Among the top five over eight years were Johnny Isakson and Brian Kemp.
Both brought energy, opinion and introspective – as well as some amusing answers to our questions.
Were we behind that radio microphone today, you’d be hearing Brian Kemp join us.
The reason is the bedlam behind his pending appointment of Johnny Isakson’s replacement in the U.S. Senate, an official announcement that is due this week but already is out there.
Kemp will pick Kelly Loeffler, a financial executive with very conservative leanings. Donald Trump, who met with Kemp more than a week ago, instead favors U.S. Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville. Collins, much like Georgia’s other U.S. senator, David Perdue, is in lock-step with Trump.
Kemp sees Loeffler as a candidate who can win and can bridge a widening gap between state Republicans and women voters. His close race with Democrat Stacey Abrams revealed just how wide that gap is – and it isn’t closing.
Trump’s supporters are applying pressure and threatening to run a candidate next November to fill the final two years of Isakson’s term. And there are hints that Kemp will see a challenger in his re-election bid in 2022. And they remind him that Trump’s endorsement sealed his win over presumed favorite Casey Cagle in the Republican primary runoff in 2018. That contest, by the way, was decided before Trump’s late-in-the-race blessing; it was frosting on the cake.
On Friday, the AJC plainly stated Kemp had made his choice and it was Loeffler. Kemp, responding to social media criticism, saying the choice was his to make and that he was ignoring the political establishment.
To which we say, bravo.
Kemp is governor. He knows this state better than most. He masterminded a gubernatorial campaign that defeated the presumed heir to the crown of Nathan Deal and then withstood a furious charge from an expertly orchestrated campaign by Abrams.
He won. Brian Kemp. Not Donald Trump. Not Doug Collins.
This is Brian Kemp’s decision to make. And Trump and his supporters need to realize that they need to back off – and now. The reason: It shows bad leadership on the part of the commander-in-chief.
A wise leader trusts his people to do the right thing. In this case, Kemp is the expert on Georgia. Two years ago, few saw Kemp as the next occupant of the governor’s mansion. Sunday night, he and his wife, Marty, welcomed the state into that mansion to celebrate the start of the Christmas season.
Kemp, while part of the Republican mainstream, is doing what he thinks is right for his party and for his state. He’s the one with the proverbial boots on the ground. He’s the one with the state’s best interests before him. Let him do as his title says, govern.
Just because another potential candidate basically shines the president’s size 12 shoes doesn’t make him the best person for one of the top 100 political positions in the country. Since when does someone being a “loyalist” put him or her as the top candidate for holding office?
A good manager wants someone who is going to give him or her an honest assessment, not a quick nod of approval. Trust us, we’ve seen “yes men” doom local media interests several times.
Brian Kemp is facing the first real hurdle of his administration, one that has been created by members of his own party and not a resurgent Democratic Party. He’s had to make a tough call and he’s taken the blowback head on.
Kemp reminds us of another Georgian who made a career of doing the right thing – even if it didn’t sit well with all those on the Right. That man was – no, that man is — Johnny Isakson.
We thank Johnny Isakson for always putting Georgia first. And we applaud Brian Kemp for doing so as well.