This morning we were greeted with a bit of a surprise from Senator Isakson, with the now well covered news of his early retirement. He’s made no secret of his health challenges, and a recent fall with broken ribs combined with a newly discovered issue with his kidneys have led him to decide that it is time to come home.
To many of us that have been around a while, this is more than an immediate parlor game of speculation, or jockeying to position for what’s next. This is personal, because Senator Isakson is Georgia’s Senior Senator, a statesman, and the rare politician that is so comfortable with who he is that he hasn’t needed to reinvent himself in four decades of public service.
Even more rare, Senator Isakson is keenly aware that “compromise” isn’t a four letter word, and believed in the art of the deal long before we elected a President who has a book with that name. In short, he’s a man who believed in getting things done, and has never cared who ultimately got the credit.
We have several more months until he retires, and I will make the time and hopefully find the words to describe what Senator Isakson’s impact has been on Georgia, from our politics to tangible measures of improvement in our quality of life. If you want a primer, I would start here, and also here.
Tomorrow, we’ll do what we do, and that involves some discussion as to what is next. That will include a post from Nathan on various names that are floating around, and a column from me on what this retirement means to Georgia’s overall electoral situation. Tomorrow.
But today was Senator Isakson’s day. It’s the beginning of the end of an era. It’s one that comes sooner than he wanted or many of us expected, but one he’s earned to have for him, for a life of public service well done.