Thursday, June 11, 2009
It's ON, BAYBEE!!!!!!
The Thrilla in Manila won't have anything on next year's TN-09 race, as Mayor Herenton made it official today by filing his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for the 9th District seat held by Steve Cohen.
I had thought he was bluffing in order to push Rep. Cohen into speeding up the process of selecting a new US Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. However, I'm sure when he heard about the new alliance between old adversaries Cohen and Harold Ford Sr., he decided that it was damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.
Here are my pros and cons for Herenton as he runs.
Pro: He has a very solid base that has come out for him in every single mayoral election.
Con: He has only achieved a majority in one of the last three elections (2003, when he faced John Willingham), and it is not at all clear that people who vote for him for Mayor will vote for him for Congress. It's difficult for legislators to get elected to administrative positions and vice versa.
Pro: He has a large donor base.
Con: Not as large as it used to be, which is not good because, by federal law, he CANNOT use any of the money in his mayoral campaign account for the Congressional campaign, meaning he starts from zero in a bad economy. Better get on those phones, Mr. Mayor.
Pro: The Democratic primary is going to be primarily African-American, which should favor Herenton.
Con: While it's true that African-Americans will make up a vast majority of the electorate, this WMC-TV poll indicates the community is very happy with Steve Cohen and will vote to keep him in Washington.
Pro: Since there will be a heavily-contested Republican primary for Governor, Republicans won't cross over to vote for Cohen.
Con: While this is true, if the WMC poll is accurate, it won't matter.
Pro: People who hate the Mayor may well vote for him to get him out of town.
Con: Not in enough numbers to make a difference; after the MSARC fiasco, no one really wants him anywhere in government.
No one doubts the Mayor will pull out every stop imaginable against the Congressman, who needs to let Herenton make as big an ass of himself as possible. Cohen needs to play mistake-free campaigning, with as few slip-us as possible.
All things being equal, I see Cohen winning, making for a truly grim last year in office for Mayor Herenton, for whom the arrow is pointing down.