5. What's your current “guilty pleasure” non-news television show?
NASCAR or “The Big Bang Theory,” but I’m not a big TV watcher aside from sports, like the Braves or college football, or the news.
6. What’s the best present you ever received as a child?
In our family, we had a tradition of whosever birthday it was got to choose the menu for dinner. It made everybody’s birthday special. Every year, I would request boiled shrimp with hot sauce, creamed corn and my grandmother’s famous cucumber salad.
7. What was the first rock concert you ever attended and where did you sit and who went with you?
The Dave Clark 5 and I went with my older sister. I don’t remember sitting, but it must have been in the back. The concert was in Virginia Beach, Va.
8. What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you? Did you take it?
When I was in medical school, I seriously contemplated dropping out and going to law school. My mom thought that was a terrible idea. We had a long discussion walking around the block of our family home -- repeatedly. I think the walk took as long as she thought it needed to be for me to take her advice. She told me that if I wanted to go to law school after medical school, that would be fine, but that I should finish medical school. I’m an orthopedic surgeon, so I obviously took her advice.
9. If Republicans and Democrats had theme songs for 2012 what would they be?
The theme song for President Obama would be “The Great Pretender,” by the Platters. The theme song for the American people regarding the Democrats would be “We Won’t Get Fooled Again,” by The Who. And the Republican song for 2012 would be “Good Vibrations,” by the Beach Boys.
10. What’s the coolest thing you’ve been able to do because of your role in the political arena?
One of the most remarkable things I have been able to do as an elected official has been to meet other world leaders and discover their views regarding America. It’s an opportunity to hear why they believe America is so special because it reinforces what the United States is all about—its unique nature. People around the world understand that, as well.
11. What books are on your summer reading list?
Right now, I’m reading “Decision for Disaster” by Grayston Lynch about the Bay of Pigs and the myth of the Kennedy Administration supporting the endeavor. I have on my nightstand “The Founders’ Key” by Larry Arnn, the President of Hillsdale College, so that’s up next. It’s about the Providential nature of America. Also, I’m planning to read “The Righteous Mind” by Jonathan Haidt, which explains how societies make moral decisions. And of course, I have the never-ending challenge of reading the Bible daily.
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena.
My wife and I were involved in our community and tried to help get good people elected in Georgia. Over time, some of them became elected officials. One of them was a state senator in the mid-1990s. She invited me to coffee in December of 1995, and I thought she was going to ask me to be her re-election campaign finance chairman—a position I would have readily accepted. However, over the course of an hour and a half, she told us she was retiring and convinced me to run for her seat. I’ve been a public servant for 16 years now.
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