Runoff: Rafael Warnock, Georgia-Born, vs. Kelly Loeffler, Carpetbagger From Illinois, For Senate

Wow. I am getting calls and texts from friends all over about the one race that America sees as the key to either Democratic Control (in proper noun version) of Congress, or Republican Control of same: Senator Kelly Loeffler versus Reverend Rafael Warnock in the Senate Runoff Election. All of them ask for my view, and to date, I’ve not blogged or vlogged it. Since I’m being prodded a lot, and have seen some campaign messages from Senator Loeffler I don’t like, I’ve decided to jump into the blogsphere and vlogsphere around the race. Buckle up, folks.

UPDATE: Reverend Rafael Warnock Beats Kelly Loeffler, Is Georgia’s First Black Senator

First, what I see, from my perspective as a visiting Californian who grew up in Oakland and Chicago, but is here to help my Mom, is a political race between someone who’s really from Georgia and someone who’s not.

Reverend Rafael Warnock was born in Savanhana, Georgia, By contrast, Loeffler, who was appointed to the Senate seat originally occupied by the legendary Johnny Issacson by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, was born in Bloomington, Illinois. In fact, as I look from the perspective of origins, Warnock was educated at Morehouse College, which is Atlanta, where Loeffler received her college schooling at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and DePaul University, where she earned her bachelors and master of business administration degrees, respectively.

In other words Warnock’s the homeboy – defined as “a young acquaintance from one’s own town or neighborhood, or from the same social background”. By contrast, Kelly Loeffler’s a straight-up carpetbagger: defined as a “a political candidate who seeks election in an area where they have no local connections.”

Try as I might, I can’t find anyone who fits the term “ carpetbagger” better than Kelly Loeffler. It’s a wonder anyone think’s she’s right for Georgia as its Senator. (Remember, she’s only campaigning for the first time – she was appointed to her seat.) It’s also no wonder that she immediately went to use dog-whistle racism as a tool in her political attack on Reverend Warnock. She’s got nothing else. Indeed, the Atlanta Journal Constitution referred to her as “largely a blank slate, sharing little publicly about her stands on policy in her 17 years in Georgia.”

Look, Governor Kemp appointed Loeffler to replace the true-Georgian Johnny Issacson in December, 2019 – barely a year ago. How she wound up in this state in the first place, is because she landed a job with Intercontinental Exchange in Atlanta, then pulled a PowerPlay (to give a nod to the famous book by Mary Cunningham that I have had in my bookshelf for several decades, back to college).

In PowerPlay: What Really Happened At Bendix, Mary Cunningham cheated on her African American husband with her boss, Bendix Chairman and CEO Bill Agee. For a host of reasons, a friend of my Mom’s thought it was a book I should read, given where I was going in life and my friendship circle (If you can read between the lines, bingo!). I devoured it. Anyway, Mary eventually married Bill, and lived controversially ever after. The untold story of Kelly Loeffler’s life is how she wound up first dating and then marrying Intercontinental Exchange CEO Jeff Sprecher? They first hooked up in 2002 – the same year she joined the firm – and then married in 2004.

By dramatic contrast, Warnock’s life was far less eventful. After serving the Lord at churches in New York and Baltimore, he became senior pastor of the legendary Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King Jr.’s former congregation in 2005. Reverend Warnock is the fifth person to serve as Ebenezer’s senior pastor since its was created.

At Ebenezer Baptist Church, Warnock became politically active, and followed in the footsteps of Dr. King, by taking up civil rights causes, even to the point of participating in a sit-in to get state legislators to accept the expansion of Medicaid in the Affordable Care Act.

In 2016, Warnock married Ouleye Ndoye and the pair were well-regarded in Atlanta social circles, by online accounts. However, cracks in their relationship surfaced this year, when the pair had what’s called a ‘dispute’, the details of which are hard to come by. Whatever the case, it’s clear that they resolved their differences, because Atlanta Mayor Keesha Lance Bottoms, a close friend of Ouleye Warnock, endorsed Reverend Warnock for Senate, October 8th.

Second, in all, a look at Reverend Warnock reveals an African American man of faith who reflects not just black culture, but Georgia culture. His political commercials focus on his concern for those who are trying to make ends meet, whereas Loeffler’s commercials are only attacks on Warnock. In all, one has to ask what the heck she was doing while she was serving as Senator?

Loeffler doesn’t brag about anything she’s done in the Senate on the campaign trail; one has to look at her press releases to learn via math that she’s brought $150 million in grants and aid to Georgia during her time thus far. But, considering one good jobs program can land billions for the State, and that she does not take time to mention any concern for small business aide during The Pandemic, it’s easy to say she’s all but mailed in her tenure.

At a time when activist government is needed to bring back America’s economy, Loeffler doesn’t present the resume Georgia needs, now. Moreover, Reverend Warnock can easily lay claim to have actually fed the hungry in large numbers (that may add up to millions of dollars), where Loeffler can’t.

The other something Kelly Loeffler can’t lay claim to is a great relationship with Georgia’s, or America’s, black population. For reasons that can only add up to tone-deaf-stupidity, Loeffler, a former basketball player, and current owner of The Atlanta Dream, ginned up a nightmare story of constant hate directed toward her by every notable black media commentator and athlete in America. Why?


Because Senator Kelly Loeffler not only took a stance against what she thinks Black Lives Matter is, but went on a series of very public, name-calling, rants – as a sitting U.S. Senator. When I first saw the videos, I though Loeffler somehow lost her marbles, then I considered that she was obviously trying to please President Trump, and then returned to the idea that she lost her mind. Kelly basically put her own personal political “kick me” sign on her butt, and that’s what folks have tried to do in the media.

Seeing the world in a racist way, Kelly Loeffler ‘s campaign now thinks a steady diet of the old rantings of Reverend Jeremiah Wright (who’s blasts against American racism were unsuccessfully used against Barack Obama when he was on his way to becoming America’s first black president), will help against Reverend Warnock. Add to that a brief video edited to appear as if Warnock was in full support of Wright’s words (he was not). “I know Rev. Wright,” Warnock said. “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’ve never defended anti-Semitic comments from anyone and Kelly Loeffler knows better.” What Kelly Loeffler doesn’t know is how to keep her powder dry, and that will become evident.

What Kelly Loeffler should fear is the unearthing of any more skeletons in her already stuffed closet as the campaign rolls on. Let’s see: insulting Black Lives Matter? Check. Implying The 2nd Amendment doesn’t apply to black folks? Check. Taking advantage of a tax loophole to buy a private plane? Check. Selling stock to avoid a COVID-19-related financial hit after leaving a classified Senate meeting on The Coronavirus? Check. I’m sure, there’s more hits coming, too.

Loeffler and her campaign seem to think that the politics of racial division will help her win the runoff against Warnock. But, already, Kelly Loeffler has the Atlanta Dream, the WNBA, and all of pro-sports against her. I am pretty sure she didn’t get the message that America is more racially-mixed than ever, and many, many white folks in Georgia don’t want to be associated with racists, regardless of party.

Given that Kelly Loeffler’s not from Georgia, it should come as no surprise that, upon reflection, she doesn’t know Georgia. Reverend Warnock does. He should be Georgia’s choice for the U.S. Senate.

Stay tuned.

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