Jan 20 2006
10:42 pm
By: Andy Axel  shortURL

Well, it appears that some grassroots Democrats 'round this country have something in common with some grassroots GOP activists:

Despite what Bill Safire says, neither would particularly welcome a Hillary Clinton 2008 bid.

Count me among the observers who believe Molly Ivins' populist take is closer to capital-T Truth than Beltway Dems want to believe.

And extend the same logical parallels to the incipient races in Tennessee for Governor and U.S. Senate.

I don't think this so much applies to the Governor's race. Hell, the GOP has yet to field a candidate. Polls indicate that Bredesen is more popular among Republicans than among Democrats. And Bredesen has hella trouble convincing mainstream Democrats that he didn't double-cross them with (a) workers' comp and (b) TennCare. In the Senate, the embattled Frist is retiring, but don't think for a second that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is ready to concede a single contested race.

So, here's one for the HFJ crowd to chew on:

Sure, Harold Ford will probably defeat Rosalind Kurita in the primary, but the rules of primary politics don't apply to the general. Bredesen has yet to field (and I predict that he will not face) a credible opponent. So when TN Republicans show up on Election Day, thousands of Republicans will turn out and vote for Bredesen, but they will vote for Bryant or Corker for Senate (sorry, Hilleary fans -- the GOP isn't ready to experiment with him statewide again). And I also predict that John Ford's "Tennessee Waltz" legal battle will show up as "FORD IS CORRUPT" and "FORD TOOK BRIBES FROM THE FBI" and "FORD GONE WILD: WAVES GUN AT G-MAN" in the Commercial-Appeal, The Tennessean, and The News-Sentinel on a daily basis. Ford (Jr) may pull Shelby and Davidson, but statewide, the numbers don't work, especially given Bredesen's short coat-tails.

I'm not willing to concede the race at this point myself, but those realities are out there. I hope that Harold Ford Jr. is getting better advice than is commonly available to "New" Democrats, but given that the brains of his political operation include folks like Jim Hester and Bob Tuke, I'd say the chances of that are outside at best.

A'ight. I'm going to go get my funk on.

R. Neal Test's picture

Sigh. Beltway Dems. Isn't

Sigh. Beltway Dems. Isn't that what got us kicked in the ass last time around?

I'd say your analysis is pretty much spot on. Harold Ford Jr. doesn't stand a chance, and he doesn't have a credible opponent in the primary. And even though I'm a yellow dog, I'm not too happy with his positions on Iraq and bankruptcy "reform".

Sadly, I think we are looking at another R representing Tennessee in the U.S. Senate. In that case, and if I had to pick one, it would be Corker. (I probably shouldn't say that less it screw up his chances.) Corker and Lamar! would be a fairly moderate duo.

Unless the R's are dumb enough to nominate Hilleary. Then the D's might have a chance. Even if we nominate Gomer Pyle.

Andy Axel's picture

Yes, Beltway Dems continue

Yes, Beltway Dems continue to be an issue for us.

As long as they dominate the discourse, people are bound to forget that TN is the home of VP Al Gore, Amb. Jim Sasser, and Sen. Estes Kefauver. (Don't tell me this is a wingnut state; it's a populist state.)

You may be a yellow dog, but Ford is blue to the bone. So don't feel bad if you have to be strategic with your vote this year.

The R's won't nominate Hilleary.

Fact o' business, I'm leaning towards voting in the R primary, so that (a) Ford won't get the benefit of my tacit endorsement, and (b) if the R primary is close, I'd rather see Corker than Hilleary (or, more likely, Bryant). The wingnuts may feel emboldened, given the climate of the last year. I'd rather see a sane R than a crazy R (and rather see a genuine R than a fake R, which is my problem with HFJ).

I actually met Corker about a year ago, and he seems, well, sane. By all accounts, he was a decent Commissioner of F&A and Chattanooga has done well under his tenure. I liked him; sue me.

Eleanor A's picture

I'm gonna show up and vote

I'm gonna show up and vote for Kurita in the primary, as I'm thinking a surprising number of others will also do.

However, since one has to collect signatures to qualify as a write-in candidate (and so far there's no sign of that happening), I'm not sure what I'm going to do for the Governor's race. Just not vote, I guess.

I don't think Bredesen is the worst guy ever, but I think he needs to be taught a lesson by the Democratic grassroots on whose backs he was elected the first time, and whose needs he has utterly forgotten.

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