Jan 17 2009
01:31 am

Remember this little gem from Governor Bredesen?

The strategy that produced our national win came at a real cost to Democrats here in Tennessee. We lost seats in the Senate, and this morning we have the first Republican House since the civil-war era. With the red landslide here in Tennessee, and with many counties with Democratic officeholders voting in the high 60s and even 70s for McCain, it’s very hard to swim against that current.

From this week's edition of The Tennessee Journal (vol 35, #3, 1/16/2009):

Some day, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me...

Until this week, most of the news Williams had made concerned previous run-ins with GOP colleagues. He was one of seven Republicans to vote for Naifeh for speaker two years ago. None of the others caught quite so much grief, though. Several in the GOP caucus looked upon him as a spy for Naifeh. He won election in 2006 by defeating Rep. Jerome Cochran (R-Elizabethton) in the primary. Cochran turned around and challenged him last summer and got the endorsement of Tennessee Right to Life. After Williams received a $250 campaign donation from Rep. John Litz (D-Morristown), four House Republicans denounced him. Another, Rep. Brian Kelsey (R-Memphis), went to the district to campaign for Cochran. But Williams got some help from Democratic Gov. Bredesen, who made a grant announcement at his restaurant and then went with him to inspect a problem road. Williams won handily.

In November, when Democrats lost their majority in the House, Williams was the first Republican Naifeh called in search of a GOP vote.

Not that it matters much anymore, now that Gov. Bredesen will be term-limited out of office in 2010. Still, he will continue to cast a long shadow in the political life of Tennessee for years to come.

That said: Governor... if you are indeed serious about building a Democratic majority for the future, please stop actively campaigning for Republican candidates.

"Swimming against the current" indeed.

Bbeanster's picture

I don't like the way

I don't like the way Bredesen has undercut Obama, but I've got no problem with anything he has done re Kent Williams. Whatever the governor can do to undermine the Ramsey/Mumpower/Kelsey/Campfield wing of the GOP has the effect of pulling this state back from the edge of the cliff.
I fear Speaker Williams is not going to be much more than a speed bump on the road to hell, but it's something. And it's not like Bredesen, or anybody else, is going to be able to get a Democrat elected in Carter County. I don't think there was even a Dem in the race -- Williams' general election* (corrected) opponent was an independent. Did Bredesen also offer any assistance to Nathan Vaughn? Seems to me that would have been the Dems' best shot.

bill young's picture

Betty's right

I agree with Betty.

I've known John for many years.His family supported me when I ran for Democratic Party chair in Hamblen County.I didnt win but the Litzs were a great help.

Also,I'm wondering if anybody's heard if Harry Brooks will be appointed as a committee chair?

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