A conventional jolt: Johnny Isakson is nice and frustrated

TAMPA — Johnny Isakson may be the nicest and most frustrated U.S. Senator at the Republican National Convention.

The “nice” part is officially documented. Washingtonian magazine, in its biannual ranking of the chamber, awarded Isakson the title in its most recent issue. “The cordial Georgian got more votes than half a dozen runners up, “ the magazine declared. The ballots came from congressional staffers.

Isakson is pictured with a halo over his head.

Is it dangerous to be declared a nice guy in Washington?

“I hope not,” Isakson said this morning. “I sold houses for 33 years. I never sold a house to somebody that didn’t want to buy it, and I never sold one for somebody that didn’t want to sell it. you don’t convince them of either thing by calling them a son of a [blatherskite], or trying to convince them you’re right. What you do is try to let them come to that decision.”

Which brings us to that other part. What happens when no one in Washington – or at least, not the people who matter, and not the bulk of Republicans in the U.S. House – will buy what you’re selling?

“I’m frustrated,” Isakson admitted. For the past month, Isakson and his Senate partner, Saxby Chambliss, have been touring the state, warning of the “fiscal cliff” that hits on Jan. 1, if a lame-duck Congress fails to come to grips with a $16 trillion deficit and a host of George W. Bush-era tax breaks that are set to expire.

“Unlike a lot of times when you have major issues confronting you and you don’t know the answer, we know what the answer is. It’s sitting there on the shelf. We’ve had Simpson-Bowles, we’ve had Paul Ryan’s suggestions. We’ve had everybody’s suggestions. There are only so many ways to skin a cat,” Isakson said.

“You’re going to have to reform taxes. You’re going to have to reform entitlements. You’re going to have to cut spending. There’s going to be some pain. But not nearly as much pain if you keep kicking the issue down the road,” Isakson said.

Georgia’s junior senator said who wins in November will make a difference. “If [President Barack] Obama wins the election, I think he’ll extend all the current tax rates after making a show. Everyone forgets that in 2010, he was opposed to extending the rates. As soon as the election was over, he was the first one leading the band to extend them. I think that’ll happen again,” Isakson said. “If Romney wins the election, he’ll ask for an extension also, but with a deadline for results.”

Isakson is happy with the balance of a Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket. Despite, his experience as governor of Massachusetts, and in business, “Mitt’s an outsider as far as Washington is concerned. Ryan will give him that legislative policy direction that he so desperately needs,” he said. “You’ve got two people in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan who are prepared by resume as well as by experience.”

***
My AJC colleague Daniel Malloy, who is younger and thus requires less sleep, was at the large party Tuesday night hosted by Herman Cain and featuring country music star Trace Adkins for several hundred Republican National Convention goers – just a few blocks from the arena in a massive tent dubbed “Liberty Square.”

The McDonough businessman and one-time presidential hopeful drew several Georgia delegates – including U.S. Rep. Tom Graves of Ranger – to the festivities, where arrivals were greeted with sandwiches from the Jimmy John’s chain. The company’s success story has been a favorite anecdote of GOP nominee Mitt Romney in his stump speech, making Jimmy John’s a distant cousin to Chik-Fil-A in the realm of politicized fast food.

Adkins brought conservative politics into his routine as well, opening with “More of Us,” a tune that takes on people who want to remove the Ten Commandments from courthouses and schools. Still, he did eventually make his way to “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” a song devoted to the female posterior.

Cain introduced the evening’s entertainment with an instruction to the delegates to unwind after a long day of “delegatin’.” Cain, who did not get an RNC speaking slot but hosted a tea party rally Sunday and has been making the media rounds, also offered praise for the night’s big speeches.

“Ann Romney defined the likeable side of Mitt Romney,” Cain said. “That’s all you got to say. I heard things that I’ve never heard before about Mitt. But she painted a very loving and likeable side of Mitt Romney because you know he’s been getting a bad rap.”

As for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Cain said he “defined the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats better than anybody that I have ever heard.”

Then came the most important instruction from the Hermanator: “Party hard. Party down. Enjoy yourself.”

***
But it is not all sweetness and light in Tampa. Talking Points Memo has this today:

An attendee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday allegedly threw nuts at a black camerawoman working for CNN and said “This is how we feed animals” before being removed from the convention, a network official confirmed….

The CNN official declined to confirm specific details of the incident to TPM but generally confirmed an account posted on Twitter by former MSNBC and Current anchor David Shuster…

***
Then there was the bus ride that my AJC colleague Kyle Wingfield took last night, after Chris Christie’s speech. Wingfield sent this note:

One “it” Romney will not want to claim he “built” is the plan for transporting convention-goers back to their hotels.

The scheme involved taking everyone from one central location — the convention hall, to another central location — the parking lot at Raymond James Stadium, then to separate hotel locations. It broke down at every point in the process.

The 5.8-mile trip between the two centralized stockyards took an hour, only about 20 minutes of which were spent moving.

Inexplicably, another hour passed before we were actually allowed to get off the first bus and find our second bus. At 1:55 a.m., three hours after Gov. Chris Christie closed the (by then previous) evening’s proceedings at the convention, I arrived at my hotel.

I will add this to bolster Wingfield’s report: Last night, I was wandering the convention hall when I ran into an esteemed member of the Georgia General Assembly. I mentioned that I would be leaving the hall early, and had access to a rental car.

“Take me with you,” he begged, describing his epic bus trip to the Tampa Bay Times Forum that afternoon. And so I did.

***
One more tidbit making its way around the Georgia delegation, from the Savannah Morning News:

U.S. Rep. John Barrow has extended tepid support to the man Republicans are portraying as his Siamese twin.

The Augusta lawmaker said on Tuesday through a spokesman he’ll vote to re-elect fellow Democrat Barack Obama president.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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44 comments Add your comment

GaBlue

August 29th, 2012
1:08 pm

The fun drained out of this election season when Herman Cain quit the race. Comedy gold! I hope somebody got footage of him boogying down to Honky Tonk Bodonkadonk! You know the man loves him some female posterior.

jose

August 29th, 2012
1:25 pm

that would be $16 TRILLION, not million, debt and $!,3 TRILLION federal budget deficit this year alone.

Bernie

August 29th, 2012
1:26 pm

Throwing Peanuts at the African American camerawoman is typical behavior of a 1950’s Republican Party and supporters. His actions as hateful as its was, further illustrates that Peanuts is ALL that one can expect from Today’s Republicans.
A Morally and Spiritually Bankrupt Party.

Baron DeKalb

August 29th, 2012
1:34 pm

Bernie, it’s totally understandable. That black camerawoman posed a direct threat to the cherished Republican stereotype that all blacks are lazy, uneducated welfare recipients.

liberalefty

August 29th, 2012
1:37 pm

they feel about all blacks including CAIN and WEST the same way

Weetamoe

August 29th, 2012
1:42 pm

I want to know who the *attendee* who *allegedly* threw peanuts is. He/she should be identified and sent home. Surely, with all the cell phones around and surely since the victim is a camera woman there is a whole buncha evidence, right? Speaking of—there is evidence of David Chalian’s vile smear against republicans. And he is a journalism professor and veteran of several news organizations.

Baron DeKalb

August 29th, 2012
1:49 pm

When it comes to where Obama was born, they’re willing to accept any shred of “evidence,” no matter how irrelevant. But when it comes to racism at the Republican convention, they cry, “where’s the video??” You know if there is a video, we’ll have Weetamope coming back with some sort of lame nonsense, “those may not be peanuts.. it’s impossible to tell from a shaky cellphone video.” I believe the phrase is, Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

Kris

August 29th, 2012
1:50 pm

Yet another example of the people that want us to vote for their boondoggle candidates…..NOT

“As Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin delivered her speech at the RNC Tuesday night, three men moved rapidly through the packed crowd on the concourse outside the convention floor, stopping briefly at every concession stand along the way to inspect the menu.
“I just don’t understand why there is no beer,” one of the men said. “This is the Republican convention! There must be beer.”

And the search continued…..
For Beer! And probably ladies of the evening.
More Peanuts to throw.

And upset Johnny and Saxby….ha ha
Re-elect President OBAMA.

Mike

August 29th, 2012
1:50 pm

Of course, liberals are assuming that because the person involved was black and female that the reason for the incident is because the attendee was raaaaacist.

I want to know what led up to it and what sort of a statement the person thought they were making. I don’t get it. But I’m a lot more willing to assume it was a stupid joke nobody got than it was an attack on the CNN employee because of her race or gender.

honested

August 29th, 2012
1:50 pm

I guess people think those endless stories about UGA and the Varsity are ‘nice’ rather than the more often cited ‘dull’.

Is it frustration, or incompetence?

David Shivers

August 29th, 2012
1:51 pm

My wife occasionally writes to our federal legislators about issues of concern to her. She has gotten responses from the offices of Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Rep. Sanford Bishop, but says she has never gotten a reply from Johnny Isakson. Maybe he is a nice guy; it’s just that his office staff needs a refresher in constituent relations.

Baron DeKalb

August 29th, 2012
1:59 pm

Mike: Yeah, abusing a black person and calling them an “animal,” I’m sure there was nothing racist about it.

If you want to know what “led up to it,” why don’t you look at the racist rhetoric of the Tea Party folks. You will find some great examples posting on the blog.

zeke

August 29th, 2012
1:59 pm

zeke

August 29th, 2012
2:10 pm

zeke

August 29th, 2012
2:11 pm

Enter your comments here

Marlboro Man

August 29th, 2012
2:11 pm

He and his buddy are the cause, they have been there the whole time. To blame anyone else is a lie.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 29th, 2012
2:31 pm

Clayton county 100% personifies the Democrat party, as the most democrat county in this state..

That being said…new AJC story Clayton County 4 yr old shot in ghettomobile

A police spokesman told the AJC that a mother was driving a minivan with her four children inside when she heard a loud pop, turned around and saw her 4-year-old daughter slumped over.

The gunshot came from a gun inside the van, police said

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 29th, 2012
2:38 pm

Republicans have wildly popular and successful Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Democrats have Inch High Private Eye Victor “Walkin’ Small” Hill

Baron DeKalb

August 29th, 2012
2:45 pm

Forsyth County 100% represents (note: a geographical entity cannot “personify” anything) the Republican party, as the most historically racist county in this state (which is saying something).

That being said, new AJC story about depraved white guy who in his perverse and irresponsible behavior typifies the entire white race.

Gordon Kent Nelson, arrested two years ago for biting two Cumming children, was sentenced to four years’ supervised probation Tuesday in Forsyth County State Court. Nelson, 46, pleaded guilty to charges of reckless conduct.

He was arrested in 2010 for biting two local 8-year-old girls on two separate occasions.
As part of his probation, Nelson must perform more than 200 hours of community service, pay $3,165 in fines and complete a program at a facility specializing in treating compulsive sexual disorders.

Your point is as muddled as your screen name.

Victor Hill

August 29th, 2012
2:46 pm

I hereby enforse the re-election of President Obama. He taught me everything I know.

(Hey Bro, send Holder down here to help me!)

Mild Mannered Moderate

August 29th, 2012
2:46 pm

What a nice man! I have written him several letters and his people have always responded quickly and politely. The Republican party needs more like him. I am sure he has refudiated Akin’s beliefs appearing on the platform but can’t find a link. Anyone?

Baron DeKalb

August 29th, 2012
2:50 pm

Senator Johnny Isakson has long been a personal hero for me. He most typifies what I want to be when I grow up. I, too, want to be a moderate Republican, a gentleman and a servant of the people.

Amen

Mild Mannered Moderate

August 29th, 2012
2:59 pm

Bacon dekalb, I agree! We need more moderates so both sides can get along! Do you have the link of Johnny refudiating akin? I am in am argument on the Facebook and can’t find it….:-(

Baron DeKalb

August 29th, 2012
3:03 pm

Oh wow, you really got me. You posted under my screen name and made it look like I support Johnny Isakson. Bernie and the rest of my liberal buddies are going to give me the ribbing of a lifetime when I meet them for beers over at Manuel’s Tavern tonight.

TrishaTrashaSeagull

August 29th, 2012
3:04 pm

I had Barack Obama’s love child!

RGB

August 29th, 2012
3:05 pm

Question: “What do you have to say about President Obama’s performance in office–namely that 25 million people are unemployed, housing foreclosures are at record levels, people’s net worths have declined 40%, the deficit has increased $6 trillion, and that places ranging from Iran to Egypt to Syria, China, and Russia are unstable”"

Answer: “Somebody threw peanuts on a black camera woman”.

That’s THE example of a Democrat’s brain at work–it’s Jello.

History Will Teach Us if we Will Learn

August 29th, 2012
3:07 pm

Jim was approached by “an esteemed member of the Georgia General Assembly. I mentioned that I would be leaving the hall early, and had access to a rental car.

“Take me with you,” he begged, describing his epic bus trip to the Tampa Bay Times Forum that afternoon. And so I did.”
I’m sure given the tenor of comments on the blog about Mr. Galloways slant on things, that he made only left turns getting the legislator back to his hotel.

intowner

August 29th, 2012
3:08 pm

Just got off the phone with a white friend who’d gone home for the week last week to look after her mother for a stint. Only to find that her sister and family, who just brought home an adopted girl from Haiti, are getting multiple death threats for bringing home a n*****. Poor Christian girl has never met an unfriendly person in Tenn., assumes everyone’s a good God-fearing soul like her – til you rub ‘em a smidge…
Ugliness is everywhere, dear Trisha War Eagle, the question is what do you do when no one is around and it’s just you and God’s voice in your head.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 29th, 2012
3:09 pm

Wow I forgot manuel’s is still around since he died..I’d have thought J.R crickets and swinging richards were the only democrat water holes left in town.

Baron DeKalb

August 29th, 2012
3:12 pm

Yeah, why don’t you bring your trash-talking to Manuel’s tonight and see what it’s like to get shot down in flames by The Red Baron.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 29th, 2012
3:12 pm

Intowner…when I hear gods voice, it’s just me listening to my voicemail greeting

And I am still not as conceited as CHOOM soetoro who wrote two autobiographies by age 45..

Baron DeKalb

August 29th, 2012
3:23 pm

GaBlue, will you be joining us tonight at Manuel’s?

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 29th, 2012
3:29 pm

Yahoo News Fires David Chalian for Racist Comment About Romneys and ‘Blacks Drowning’ Due to Hurricane Isaac ..

..according to mainstream media many many black folks are drowning in New Orleans as we speak! heck of a job, hussein

ha-ha the lamestreet media derailed in the past 18 hours over the superior presentation of Ann Romney and Chris Christie

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 29th, 2012
3:33 pm

Baron, buy Ex-washington Bureau chief David “is this mic on” Chalian a beer..he is now one of Obama’s great unemployed army!

Mild Mannered Moderate

August 29th, 2012
3:33 pm

@intowner – That makes me sad. I hope your neighbors get better!

@History – I don’t get it. What are you implying about Jim?

@RGB – I agree, that oeanuts thing was mean! And the economy is bad. I really hope Mitt Romney can help….but I am worried about my Medicare under the Ryan plan…i am not yet 55 :/

@trisha – You sure are mean. I guess everything my dad said about Alabama is true. Here in Georgia we are MUCH nicer.

Mild Mannered Moderate

August 29th, 2012
3:36 pm

@trisha – stop being mean to Ann! She is nothing like Christie. She works hard to do physical therapy and is in good shape. You are as bad as those liberals spreading rumors that she was there when mitt roofed shamus the dog!

Don Abernethy

August 29th, 2012
3:44 pm

We need new faces in Washington. The old faces haven’t done anything.

Glenn

August 29th, 2012
3:50 pm

Isakson is probably a nice guy but a typical politician . Anyone who runs on extended tax cuts isn’t concerned about a fiscal cliff . He played a role ” kicking the can” when he supported two unfunded wars .

cc

August 29th, 2012
3:53 pm

I’ve read many comments about Mrs. Romney’s illnesses. Breast cancer is bad but if detected early and treated, it most often can be controlled. MS is a terrible disease. There are different types of MS and my prayer for her is that her type is ‘remitting’, meaning there is some recovery after every episode. The worst type MS is ‘chronic progressive’ where the patient continues to worsen with no remission possible.

We should all be cognizant of the fact that disease is no respecter of wealth or status. Compassion for the ill instead of criticism should be the norm regardless of the person’s status in life.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

August 29th, 2012
4:02 pm

@Mild Man Mid

I’m mean I’m mean I’m mean
Ya know what I mean
..she’s mean she’s mean..
Ya know what I say
She’s says she’s mean
Ya know what I mean
Se’s mean she’s mean

BTW we will be fielding a tea party alternative to Saxby, but should he win the primary, he will get my vote.

cc

August 29th, 2012
4:07 pm

“Notorious PBS liberal Gwenn Ifill took to Twitter to defend David Chalian, the former Yahoo Washington bureau chief who was fired for claiming that Mitt and Ann Romney are “happy to have a party with black people drowning,” claiming that he was unjustly fired. Her defense was markedly over-the-top:

“One mistake does not change this. @DavidChalian is God’s gift to political journalism. #IStandwithDavid”

“unjust”? Yeah, right . . .

Mild Mannered Moderate

August 29th, 2012
4:08 pm

@cc Exactly! I just hope it isn’t affecting her mind yet….i had a friend who went crazy and started sleeping with everythinthat moved. It terrified her daughter so much she refused to be tested for it! I could only detect a little slur in her voice last night…she is clearly working very hard!

@trisha – I thought Saxby was tea party?

Dirty Dawg

August 29th, 2012
8:11 pm

Johnny ain’t the same Johnny that we first sent to Washington. A more reasonable, maybe even a left of center, Republican you couldnt find, and one you’ll damn sure never find again. Don’t know what they did to him…threatened, bribed, water-boarded, whatever, but he’s not the same and the world is worse off because of it.

Links 8/30/12 « naked capitalism

August 30th, 2012
6:56 am

[...] any Internet service.” … Management problem: “The [bus transport] scheme involved taking everyone from one central location — the convention hall, to another central location &… then to separate hotel locations. It broke down at every point in the process.” … [...]