My interview with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)…initial reactions

This morning I had the opportunity to interview Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA).


(Surfing through RedState, I see that Isakson has mixed reviews among commenters.  Many posts have referred to him as a RINO and are critical of his conservative credentials.)


The purpose of this interview was to write an article for a real estate trade magazine.  I will also use the interview for my real estate column on examiner.com.


So the interview focused primarily on real estate topics and issues affecting REALTORS (yes, I know it sounds boring… but stay with me a minute) 


As many RedState members are aware, Senator Isakson had a very successful real estate career in Cobb County, GA.


Johnny Isakson was the first REALTOR elected to the US Senate and received a tremendous amount of support from the National Association of REALTORS.


For the record:  Prior to this morning’s phone interview, I had never spoken to the Senator and I am not affiliated with his campaign.  However, I am a REALTOR and thought it was necessary to disclose this to you. 


In my background research, I read that he was originally a pro-abortion candidate, and eventually changed his position. (I moved to Georgia in 2004 and was not familiar with his early political career)


He also initially supported TARP, however, opposed the second wave of funding.


There have been several issues he supported before he was against them.


I think that’s why I am having a hard time defining Isakson politically. 


For example, he has had an excellent track record on 2nd Amendment issues, but then he supports Eric Holder for attorney general. 


He stresses less government spending, but supported many of the bailouts in the banking industry. 


He is opposed to the health care bill, but loses conservatives with his support of “end of life” counseling.


I will be making some more in-depth points about our interview in another diary on, but here are some of my initial reactions to the interview.


  1. His campaing staff was excellent to deal with.  I sent an email to his campaign website requesting an interview.  As an unknown writer for an obscure website, I was surprised they granted me an interview and how promptly it was arranged.  Overall, Isakson seems to be a very accessible politician.
  2. Senator Isakson is a likable and respectful guy.  He treated me professionally and I never felt like he was talking down to me.  I can see why he is successful in real estate and politics.
  3. I think the REALTOR in him has made him more pragmatic than many conservatives would like.  In real estate, we can’t always get everything we want for our clients.  For example, in the current market, I would rather see a seller take a little less for their home, than completely lose the deal.  That seems to be Isakson’s approach on some of the issues.  However, this type of approach in politics can alienate us pretty quickly.
  4. He definitely knows his real estate and he is a strong asset for the National Association of REALTORS. 
  5. He is not the perfect conservative candidate, and he is willing to cross party lines and support some liberal causes.



Overall, I think he is an effective politician for Georgia.  He is realistic enough to know that he can’t take the conservative base for granted, especially in this upcoming election.


Once I have gone through the interview some more, I will post some of his responses to my question.  However, keep in mind that this interview was primarily for REALTORS, so we did not get into many of the issues that member of RedState might want me to ask.


Hopefully, I will have another opportunity to interview him as the election gets closer.