Matt Towery

Joyce Shade never played games. She could spot a phony or an enemy a mile away. She was sharp enough to run any business or other organization. It's no wonder Johnny Isakson plucked this jewel from a sea of political flotsam. Like her, he is the real deal.

Johnny will freely admit that without Joyce, there would be no senator, no public figure named Johnny Isakson. Not because he's unqualified. Quite the opposite. And one of his key qualifications is that he was shrewd enough 40 years ago to have chosen this capable and trustworthy woman to help him build his career.

So now we say goodbye to Joyce Shade, as we did to the "sister-in-arms" she never knew, Linda Mancuso.

I can't help but believe there was a reason I was inspired to write a book in 1998 about the rise of women in America. It was because of women like Linda Mancuso, yes, but also ones like Joyce Shade. Women who don't just stand behind male leaders, but often next to and in front of them.

This much I'm sure of: Had Joyce eventually chosen to be a political candidate herself, her first volunteer would have been Johnny Isakson. The second would have been me.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery