On our long days of social distancing, I have few routines still in place. I don’t always get up at the same time. Ironing clothes—what’s the point? A scrunchie has replaced my flat iron, and my bedtime ranges from 10-midnight depending on my mood. But one thing I never miss is Andy’s daily briefings. I know what you’re thinking. Andy who? Well, I thought you’d never ask! Andy Beshear–our “newish” governor of Kentucky.
Before I sing his praises, let me reflect on where our state stood before he was elected. It was bad. I mean really bad. You know it’s rough when your governor gets called out on the Today Show by Al Roker over comments he made about kids being “weak” in subzero wind chills. His notorious attack on teachers may have been the worst, though. There was mud slinging and temper tantrums. It was a long four years to say the least.
When the said governor lost his seat for re-election, he chose to free countless felons, including sexual predators and murderers in what seemed to be his last ditched effort to throw Kentuckians the bird. Curiously enough, many of those released had family members who were donors to his campaign. It was unethical in every sense of the word and had most Kentuckians outraged. Tensions were high, and Kentucky was divided.
And then, just like that—the sky opened up, the sun begin to shine, and birds began to sing when Andy Beshear took the seat as our new, highly anticipated governor. There was some resistance at first, coming from some die-hard Republicans, who relentlessly tried to compare the young Beshear to his father, who served as governor from 2007-2015. Andy continued with grace, regardless of those who refused to give him a chance, initially.
When Kentucky had its first reported case of Coronavirus, Andy immediately declared a state of emergency for our state, leaving some people scratching their heads. It took a bit for many to realize that this virus wasn’t in fact a hoax as our president claimed or a media-induced frenzy meant to scare viewers and bump ratings.
Each day forward, there were countless new actions taken to protect Kentuckians from a surge of cases. There’s too many to list, but if you’re curious check out https://governor.ky.gov/covid19. Andy don’t play! His words are backed by action, and he has been doing everything in his power to take care of his constituents.
One of our favorite things as Kentuckians is Andy at 5 o’clock (or 4 p.m. if you’re Central time like me). Around 40,000-50,000 Kentuckians, along with many from other parts of the world, jump online to watch Andy’s daily briefing for the status of COVID-19 in our state.
So I know what you’re thinking. What is so special about Andy Beshear? I invite you to watch and see for yourself. Here’s the link to his page, which includes all of his briefings. https://www.facebook.com/GovAndyBeshear/
Andy starts each daily briefing with a mantra that he asks all of us to repeat several times out loud, regardless of how cheesy some may find it. “We will get through this. We will get through this together.” I find it charming as I know there’s power in our words and mindset. I’m glad he sees it too.
He has a soothing, calm, and collective voice that eases our worries. He brings out numerous examples of #TeamKentucky, #TogetherKy, #Patriot, and #HealthyatHome to give reminders to us that there are still some bright spots that can be hard to find in a worldwide pandemic. Almost like a loving father, he encourages us daily to “Be a good neighbor” and to work together–a 360 from our former leadership.
Just as any good father would be, he isn’t always warm and fuzzy. He is tough when needed, and will call out those who are misbehaving. Just ask the Pike County Bingo Hall. They chose to keep their doors open to a full house after the closure guidelines were set. Andy didn’t hesitate to put them on blast during his briefing, leaving most of us appalled that anyone would disregard the closures. Gasp! A fictitious scarlet letter was painted on the door of the bingo hall in many of our minds, and you can guarantee that was punishment enough in itself. Get ’em, Andy!
There’s a kind but firm, “You can’t be doing that,” when people congregate at parks or attend a Sunday church service when they’re supposed to be watching online from home. Even though he sometimes has to scold his constituents, he always does it in a loving way that we all can respect.
And then, when the dreaded time comes to hear the latest numbers of cases and deaths in our state, he approaches it with such reverence and respect. Sometimes his voice may crack, as it’s obvious that his heart is breaking, along with the many families of those we lost that day. He reminds us that even when the number of deaths seem low on some days, that it is still a huge loss for the families of those departed. He shares a bit of his faith with us and his (and my) belief that our bodies are but vessels. That our spirit will continue on to a better place. He follows by encouraging other Kentuckians to light up their houses in green, as an act of compassion, empathy and renewal for the fallen victims of COVID-19. The Governor’s Mansion follows suit, as well.
He goes on to answer questions about financial aid and medical coverage, benefits and unemployment. He encourages those who have suffered a job loss or layoff to put aside their pride and get help with government programs. He reminds us all to take breaks from the topic of the year and to take care of ourselves through exercise and getting outside, while honoring social distancing. He addresses mental health and posts hotlines for those who are struggling. He addresses all of our needs like any wonderful father, and we leave the briefing feeling a little less scared. A little more protected. With a bit more faith in humanity and another boost of confidence in our leadership.
It’s no wonder that many other states’ residents, and even some living outside the United States, are choosing to watch Andy’s briefings over their own governors’. Many of them say that Andy keeps them better informed. That he makes them feel better, and gives them an hour of comfort in a worrisome day. That they would trade their own governors, along with some of the trademarks of their state, in exchange for our Andy. To date, we’ve been offered Matthew McConaughey, Dolly Parton, and Tom Brady to name a few.
There are hundreds of positive memes that feature our prized governor, with pages devoted to him and hundreds of thousands of followers. Here’s my favorite Andy meme group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1124321234573690/. You can thank me later.
Andy is ranked as the #1 governor by his constituents in U. S. News. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/slideshows/10-states-where-residents-rate-coronavirus-response-favorably?slide=11 Finally, we have one positive thing that we’re happy to rank #1 for in Kentucky!
All in all, what makes Andy the best kind of leader is this. He’s kind. He’s caring. He loves his constituents. He is tough, when needed. His words are followed by action. He gets s**t done. He’s trustworthy. He is confident, but not afraid to admit when he’s wrong. He apologizes without hesitation. When he doesn’t know the answer, he’ll tell you. No blowing smoke. He lets you know that he’ll find out the answer and get back with you tomorrow. And guess what? He actually does. He’s honest. He’s positive. He brings people together. He has bipartisan support. He believes in the goodness of humanity. He makes us all want to do better.
If you haven’t been following Andy, you’re missing out. He’s one to watch! In the future, I truly hope that someday he will be our POTUS. Because the only thing Kentuckians love as much as their bourbon, basketball, and Derby is Andy Beshear, and we’re so proud he’s ours!
Thanks so much for stopping in! Don’t forget to subscribe for my latest posts by dropping your email before you go. If you want others to know Andy like we know Andy, please share on your social pages! Let’s get him the national coverage he deserves. xo, Christy