What Others Are Saying

Atlanta Journal Constitution
November 3, 2004

Senate gets a voice of reason in Isakson

Giving up a safe congressional seat to mount a statewide race after having lost two of them required political courage. And today Sen.-elect Johnny Isakson stands rewarded, a landslide winner embraced by voters across Georgia.

Isakson enters the U.S. Senate at a crucial time. His even temperament and his inclination to moderation will be especially needed in the coming years. The U.S. Senate could be called in the next four years to confirm as many as four new appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court. Only one justice, Clarence Thomas, is younger than 65. The chief justice, William Rehnquist, who turned 80 in October, suffers from thyroid cancer that may be more serious than indicated. Justice John Paul Stevens is 84 and Sandra Day O'Connor is 74.

Confirmation hearings have become contentious affairs. The even-tempered voice of moderation may turn out to be a treasured national contribution to the health of representative democracy.

Georgians know what we're getting in Isakson: a thoughtful and decisive decision-maker with a superb intellect who is able to grasp details and shape them into clear law and coherent policy. That was his approach to public service in the General Assembly, as chairman of the state Board of Education and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Leaders in the U.S. Senate with those qualities become revered in Georgia. Walter F. George, Sam Nunn and Paul Coverdell are all examples of thoughtful men who inspired confidence and grew in public esteem and affection.

Our congratulations to Georgia's newest U.S. senator, Johnny Isakson.