On this afternoon’s edition of GPB’s “Political Rewind,” former Georgia congressman Lynn Westmoreland spent an hour with host Bill Nigut and me – his first extended interview since leaving Washington last year.
The Republican from Coweta County, who spent six two-year terms in the state House before spending another six terms in Congress, was quick to fasten on what he hated most about Washington:
“The fundraising is terrible. We need to do something with the fund-raising laws. We need to do something with that. And I don’t know what the answer is, but when you spend a day a week trying to raise money, it’s not fun.
“The other thing I don’t miss is sleeping on the pull-out sofa…I guess at Rayburn, there was a total of 35, maybe 40 that did it. It was fun. You’re down there every morning and saw all the same guys, Democrat and Republican…It wasn’t bad – just aggravating. You have to get up and get dressed and go down there and get undressed…”
But the real question, of course, is whether Westmoreland has come down with a case of gubernatorialitus or any of its symptoms, which include the formation of a 2018 campaign for governor. Secretary of State Brian Kemp came down with the fever last Friday. Said Westmoreland:
“I don’t have it right now. I’m not going to say I’m immune to it. The one thing I’ve learned, especially in politics – you can’t let somebody else’s decision influence your decision. When Brian Kemp came out, everybody hit the panic button. I mean, my phone lit up.
“I’m not ready to make that decision. It’s about 20 months until the election. And I understand that everybody wants to get out first. Everybody wants to get people committed. But at the same time, I’m not ready. The stars just haven’t aligned for me to be able to do that. I’m happy. I am really and truly happy.”
He seemed to really mean that last sentence. If you didn’t catch the interview live, click here to listen to it now: