WASHINGTON — Describing her one-year term in office as the “honor of my lifetime,” U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s gave her farewell speech Tuesday afternoon on the Senate floor.
In it, she described herself as a champion of conservative values who strived to put Georgia and Georgians first. But she also carried over grievances from her failed runoff campaign, including anger at the media and claims that she had been victimized by “cancel culture.”
Loeffler also made vague references to the failed election challenges and Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, an event so violent that it changed her mind about objecting to Democrat Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in Georgia.
“In all of the events of recent weeks, I want to urge my colleagues to remember why we’re here, who you serve and to recall the greatness of the American experiment, as well as the fragile nature of our freedoms,” she said.
Loeffler, who prior to taking office stepped down from a role leading a subsidiary of her husband’s company, Intercontinental Exchange, hasn’t said what she might do next. Whatever it is, she said, she will continue to champion the Republican Party.
She added that she was proud to serve alongside U.S. Sen. David Perdue, whom she described as a friend. Perdue also lost in a runoff, but because his term ended before the election was settled, he didn’t give a farewell speech.
Loeffler said former U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss helped teach her the ropes of public office. And she wished her successor, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, well although without mentioning him by name.
Her speech also made no mention of President Donald Trump, whose support she cultivated and whose false claims that the general election was stolen from him contributed to her defeat.
Loeffler ended by reminiscing on her rural upbringing, saying she never predicted she would one day hold one of the highest offices in the nation.
“For a shy farm girl who was the first in her family to graduate from college, who could have never imagined that one day I would serve as a United States senator from the great state of Georgia,” she said, “thank you all.”