Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 18

'I've tried to be a citizen who does his part
to help my community. When we had a
hard vote to make, I studied to make sure
I was doing the right thing.'
-Sen. Johnny Isakson

Isakson's family attends his swearing-in in the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Isakson "open for discussion and
dialogue," even though the two
often held differing views.
"Whatever the issues were,
he was always willing to have
a conversation, always approachable and a remarkable
person with a lot of discernment," Smyre says. "Although
we're from different parties,
I have nothing but respect and admiration for him.
With the political atmosphere the way it is now, we need more
Johnny Isaksons in the Senate."
His friend and fellow former U.S. senator, Saxby Chambliss,
well recalls Isakson's penchant for thoroughly investigating
issues before voting.
"My wife was a classroom teacher, and when Johnny
was chairman of the state school board, he would ask for her
perspective on education issues," Chambliss says. "I appreciated the fact that he was setting policy based on what's in the
best interests of our children, not political interests. And that is
Johnny. That's what he's about."
That vigorous attention to others' concerns and ideas
helped make Isakson the beloved public servant he became,
according to his peer.
"In most incidences, when the federal government gives a
major appropriation to a state for an entity, like a port, the two
senators fight each other to see who could get a press release
out first to take credit," Chambliss says. "In our case, Johnny and
I did joint press releases."
Friends since their freshman year at the University of
Georgia in 1962, Chambliss and Isakson eventually became the
first two Georgia Republicans to serve in the U.S. Senate at the
same time.
"It would not be unusual for Johnny and me to talk six or
eight times a day, and we encouraged our staffs to have lots of
conversations," Chambliss recalls. "We wanted to know we'd
discussed issues from the top level down to make sure we made
the right decisions."
Of his numerous achievements in office, Isakson cites a

18

Georgia Magazine

February 2020

Students at Alice
Coachman Elementary
School in Albany had
a chance to visit with
Isakson before he held
a roundtable discussion
about education at the
school in 2009.

few that mean the most
to him, including saving
pension funds for Delta
Air Lines employees in
2006, making improvements to housing programs after the 2008 recession and providing better security for Peace Corps workers through the Kate
Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011, named for
a Georgia volunteer who was murdered while serving in Benin.
"Another is the port in Savannah," the former statesman
says. "For 19 years in Washington, D.C., I've worked on this,
and, thankfully, my last year in office was the year we fully
funded Savannah's port, which is critical to Georgia's economy
and global trade."
Isakson concluded his Senate career as chairman of both
the Ethics and Veterans' Affairs committees.
The former senator expresses gratitude to his wife, Dianne,
and their three children and eight grandchildren for supporting his public service career. Appreciation is also evident for
Marietta, where he grew up, ran a business, raised a family and
taught sixth-grade Sunday school for 30 years.
"I would say that staying in the same place-living in the
same place-was a key to my success in politics," he says.
The opportunity afforded to him by living in the United
States was also key.
"The difference between America and every other place
is the people and the opportunities we have," Isakson says.
"There's not going to be another America. If we screw this one
up, it's over.
"Everybody needs to be involved in the way they can best
contribute, whether in school PTA, local government or church.
The more all of our taxpaying citizens are involved, the better
we're going to be as a country."
Jackie Kennedy is a freelance writer from LaGrange.



Georgia Magazine - February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - February 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 10
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 11
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 12
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 13
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 14
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 15
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 16
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 17
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 18
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 19
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 20
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 21
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 22
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 23
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 24
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 25
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 26
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 27
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 28
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 29
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 30
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 31
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 32
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 33
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 34
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 35
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 36
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 37
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 38
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/libertynotes_billofrights
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_realitycheck
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_200912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_200911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_200910
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com