Word: Exit stage left

Two of Georgia's best-known politicians give what could be their final public statements.

On the same day last week, two of Georgia’s best-known politicians gave what may have been their final public statements while in office — albeit under very different circumstances.

“I held out hope that I was going to put my family back together again. When the realization hit me a few weeks ago that it wasn't going to happen, I didn't think there was a reason to live. I should have died, but for some reason yet unknown to me, almighty God didn't let me. Through friends and family and support, I am getting better, although I'm very emotional right now. Because this is the end for me.”

— Outgoing Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, in a tearful, extemporaneous speech after fellow Republicans nominated his successor during a Dec. 17 meeting at the state Capitol.

“Some women adopt male standards for their performance, but I don’t. I didn’t run for office to be popular. I showed up to work, I worked hard, I was honest, I made some tough decisions. I know when it’s over and it’s time to move on. I’m satisfied that I finished the race. I’m sorry this isn’t what you wanted. You get the real deal here.”

— Outgoing Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, speaking to reporters during a tense Dec. 17 press conference in City Hall, after being asked to reflect on her time in office.

(Photos by Joeff Davis)