Opinion: Isakson’s re-election news is good news for Georgia

Johnny Isakson isn't waving goodbye. (Credit: Jason Getz/Getty Images)

Johnny Isakson is not waving goodbye just yet. (Photo credit: Jason Getz/Getty Images)

Johnny Isakson reportedly will make official next week what he’s been insisting to anyone who would listen for almost two years: He will run for a third term in the U.S. Senate come 2016. I have privately had my doubts about whether he would follow through with that — if he wanted so much as to keep his options open, he had to keep saying he’d run — but this news puts those doubts to rest. It also just might be the best thing that could happen, as far as Georgia’s electoral votes are concerned, to the eventual GOP presidential nominee that year.

First, Isakson’s determination to press on — and to be so public about it so early — makes it more likely than not that the Georgia GOP will avoid another drawn-out, messy primary like the one that produced Sen.-elect David Perdue. He may get a primary opponent, but I doubt it would be anyone who could mount more of a challenge than Gov. Nathan Deal faced during this year’s primary. A two-term incumbent is hard to beat. And Isakson has served two terms without making some of the same enemies Saxby Chambliss did on the right. I’ll hear a little bit of grumbling from time to time about him, but he simply hasn’t taken the controversial stances on issues like taxes and immigration that Chambliss did. There are any number of high-profile Republicans I could imagine jumping into the race if Isakson were to retire, maybe even more than we had this year. But I would expect most of them to keep their powder dry rather than take on such a popular figure within the party.

Second, the fact that Isakson stands to enter the general election unscathed should make a lot of prominent Democrats think twice about getting into the race. Yes, it will be a presidential year, which ought to make for a more favorable electorate for a Democrat (although it’s worth noting that Mitt Romney did almost exactly as well here in 2012 as Perdue and Deal did this year). But they have to consider how realistic their chances would be against a two-term incumbent who would be extremely well-funded and backed by a unified Republican Party, in a year when there will probably be less outside money available for Senate races in general — and especially in places where the challenger has such a steep hill to climb toward victory. Ultimately, a milquetoast slate down the ballot isn’t going to help the Democrats win Georgia’s electoral votes.

Finally, Isakson should be in a fairly prominent position over the next two years as the GOP tries to make some progress with its majorities in Congress. He’ll be in a perfect place to make the case that it’s time to have a Republican president with a Republican-controlled Congress to make progress on issues from the economy to foreign policy. Given his stature in Georgia, he’ll be able to make that message resonate with independent voters in a way that a new candidate might not be able to do.

Johnny Isakson is, as people on both sides of the aisle often acknowledge, precisely the kind of statesman you want to see in Washington. Having him in the Senate for eight more years would be a very good thing.

Reader Comments 0

19 comments
RantNRave
RantNRave

"No wonder leftist are hopping mad these days.  Y'all are just crazy. "


@Yes_Jesus_Can 


HOPPING MAD?


CRAZY?


REMEMBER........


TED "GREEN EGGS AND HAM"


CRUZ


HE'S HOPPING MAD.............. 



Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

Its been a week and they are already being lampooned. They aren't going to make any progress.

---------------------------------

Just what in the world are you talking about heady?  No, it's Headley!

Claver
Claver

The odds are very low that I would be voting for Isakson in the general election; but, I will readily concede that he is better than any of the cast of characters that lined up in the R primary to replace Saxby.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

Finally, Isakson should be in a fairly prominent position over the next two years as the GOP tries to make some progress with its majorities in Congress.


Its been a week and they are already being lampooned. They aren't going to make any progress. 


I mean this is the guy they name to head up the Environment Committee. I wish I was making that up. I wish I was making that up I really do


http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/jim-inhofe-112757.html


Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.


This is the kind of stupidity that has now been unleashed. Enjoy the next two years boys. 

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

I have to say, I was worried Johnny would be the one weak link in the conservative party.  To me, he has been too much go-along-to-get-along, but he didn't crack on bamster bots and their bad healthcare law.

MarkVV
MarkVV

Georgia could do much worse than sending Johnny Isakson back to the Senate (and much better than having sent David Perdue).

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

"they have to consider how realistic their chances would be "


Unfortunately, this is true to the extent that people have given up even trying to influence politicians by voting. 

Why even vote if it's the same old same old every single time? 


This is a problem with the current field, not a feature. 

JackClemens
JackClemens

Interested to hear more about why you think he's a keeper Kyle? Some specifics on his statesmanship. I'm not doubting you, but am really looking to be more informed. Thanks.

straker
straker

Almost all the elected US Senators will run for as many terms as they can.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

He must know something about which party is going to prevail in 2016.

RantNRave
RantNRave

Johnny Isakson has some 

explaining to do........


WHY did it vote AGAINST


Bring Jobs Home Act


Protect Women's Health Act


Paycheck Fairness Act


FIGMO2
FIGMO2

If nothing else, I can support his placeholder status.

schnirt

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Yes_Jesus_Can When you make someone who denies Climate Change based on the word of Genesis .


Yes people are already starting to snicker.

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@HeadleyLamar 

Pro-life and pro-marriage makes him a nut? 

No wonder leftist are hopping mad these days.  Y'all are just crazy. 

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

@LogicalDude 

Republicans are sweeping to power in Congress.

Now I see why you think there's a problem. 

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

@Yes_Jesus_Can @HeadleyLamar Pro-life and pro-marriage makes him a nut


Yes it does. Because those are based on  HIS religious beliefs. Which he then happily forces  on and uses to discriminate against others. 

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Yes_Jesus_Can @LogicalDude

I'm arguing against a single party rule (either one) that has no competition and has no regard for the whole populace. 


I can see how you missed that.