Yep, Senator-Elect Jon Ossoff Sounds Pretty Damn Good
I noticed some folks went to sleep nervous about Democrat Jon Ossoff's runoff rematch against Republican Senator David Perdue, and it didn't help that CNN spent most of the night freaking out like they'd never seen a map of Georgia.
Sure, Perdue was ahead for a while, but then the DeKalb County votes came to the party.
Ossoff soon took the lead, and my boy ain't letting it go. The race hasn't officially been called yet, but this shit is over. I know it. You know it. Most importantly, Dave Wasserman has seen enough.
Perdue and Disney villain Kelly Loeffer are so terrible, you run the risk of only seeing Ossoff and Raphael Warnock as Mitch McConnell slayers, and that's a mistake. We've shown some love to Warnock, and now it's Ossoff's turn.
The Atlanta native was born in 1987 (!), so he'll soon replace Josh Hawley as the Senate's youngest member. While in high school, he interned for the late, great Rep. John Lewis and describes himself now as a “John Lewis Democrat." That means he's willing to get in some good trouble. Remember when he called his (alleged) insider trading, COVID-19 profiteering opponent a crook to his face?
I’d like to report a murder. Jon Ossoff slays GOP opponent Perdue in Georgia US Senate debate. https://t.co/RL2CrTPSMJ— John Aravosis 🇺🇸🇬🇷🏳️🌈 (@John Aravosis 🇺🇸🇬🇷🏳️🌈)1603939818.0
Lewis personally recommended Ossoff to Rep. Hank Johnson, and Ossoff worked in the congressman's office for five years. He left in 2012 to earn his master's at the London School of Economics. He's also run a London-based company that produces documentaries. Despite his talent, he faced the challenge of launching a political career in what was once considered a deep-red state.
In 2017, when Republican Tom Price left the House for more lucrative grifting in the Trump administration, Ossoff ran in the special election to replace him. He lost to Karen Handel, who'd lose the seat the next year to the awesome Lucy McBath.
After losing the special election, there was skepticism that Ossoff could unseat David Perdue, who'd mopped the floor with Democrat Michelle Nunn in 2014. Nunn was the daughter of former Democratic Senator Sam Nunn. Ossoff, like Warnock, wasn't related to a successful politician. Turns out voters cared more about the actual candidate.
Ossoff ran a disciplined, smart campaign. This contrasted sharply with Perdue, who could only offer Georgians his personal devotion to Donald Trump. Perdue's campaign wasn't as overtly racist as Loeffler's, which would've required making appearances in a Klan hood, but he did run a grotesque ad that artificially (and obviously) enlarged Ossoff's nose. Ossoff is Jewish, and the big nose ad also linked him to Senate (Soon-to-be-Majority) Leader Chuck Schumer, who was accused of trying to “buy" Georgia.
Perdue refused to show up for another debate after his public pantsing before the election. He presumed he could coast to victory during the runoff while laying low, screaming about socialism, and calling for the resignation of Georgia's Republican secretary of state. (That last one probably was more Trump's plan than the Perdue campaign's.)
This resulted in Ossoff debating an empty lectern, and while the lectern did better than Perdue at the previous debate, it was still an embarrassing performance. Let's watch it again.
It's true Ossoff underperformed Warnock, but as lousy as Perdue is, he had actually won an election at some point. He also had a pre-Trump political career, and voters knew him as more than just a mindless capo to President Mob Boss. Warnock's relative strength is good because he'll have to face voters again in 2022. Ossoff will serve a full six-year term.
Ossoff and Warnock ran as a team, and Ossoff had Warnock's back when Loeffler tried to smear him as anti-Israel and thus anti-semitic. He also dropped the mic when a Fox News reporter asked him about some other random lies about Warnock.
OSSOFF: She is stooping to these vicious personal attacks to distract from the fact that she's been campaigning with a former member of the Ku Klux Klan. I mean, we deserve better than that here in Georgia.
Loeffler was in fact photographed with a white supremacist. Ossoff also repeated the line, “Kelly Loeffler has been campaigning with a klansman," which would make a great sample riff in a hip-hop song.
FOX News walked up rolling live, and I appreciated the free air time! Also, Kelly Loeffler campaigned with a klan… https://t.co/ykLyxFXp92— Jon Ossoff (@Jon Ossoff)1609375382.0
Congratulations, Senator-elect Ossoff, you did us proud.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."