Monday, February 08, 2010

Interesting post, eh?

Brother Carroll's fire and brimstone post about Steve Cohen's challenger was interesting, but I am not sure I can go there with him.

First, I am not at all convinced that Dr. Herenton can win this race. His campaign is essentially the same campaign with which Nikki Tinker ran twice and got pounded. A-ha, you say, but this is a historic figure we're talking about, the first African-American superintendent of Memphis City Schools and the first elected African-American Mayor of Memphis.

Well, he's not running for either of those, and he wouldn't be the first African-American Congressman from the 9th District, he would be the THIRD. Lots of people do love him in this city and he will always hold a special place in their hearts. Lots of those folks will go up and give him love and wish him the best and tell the Doc that they are behind him all the way.

And then, they will go vote for Steve Cohen because Cohen gets things done for the entire community, but the African-American community in particular.

The hardcore group of people who have never strayed from Dr. Herenton in all those races tend to vote in general elections in October and November. An August Democratic primary? Not so much. If they HAD voted in large numbers in a Democratic primary, the Democrats would have gained control of Shelby County government a decade ago; instead, they are still trying to win a majority of these elections.

A heavy Democratic turnout would certainly be welcome, but pardon me if I remain skeptical. Dr. Herenton apparently plans to run a campaign from the streets that says "we have no African-American Congressman from Tennessee, therefore vote for me". His only real hope is that he can trick congressman Cohen into putting his foot in his mouth and turn off African-American voters.

Congressman Cohen's predecessor, Harold Ford Jr., was African-American and he absolutely threw his constituency under the bus when he was technically our Congressman, voting for the Bankruptcy Bill and campaigning like he was a farmer from Lawrence County rather than as a Memphian. He was like his father only in that they shared the same name and look somewhat alike; otherwise, nada.

If Dr. Herenton wanted to run an issues-based campaign, he could probably pull it off, as he is an arduous campaigner; no one ever said he would be a slacker on the campaign trail. However, why is he running a campaign that has failed miserably twice? Here, he is NOT the historical figure, he is running to be one of 435 instead of running to be one of one.

Everyone is nervous, and I have no doubt the Doc will pull votes out of nostalgia, but I do NOT think he will beat Steve Cohen.

If he does, that says more about our city that I want to know.


callmeishmael said...

I think--hope--you're right. Herenton runs as a one issue "I'm this and he's not" campaign. Cohen, on the other hand, runs as a Congressman. But we don't--thankfully--live among Plato's Philosopher Kings; we have chosen democracy by majority vote, so we'll see in August. I nonetheless think--hope--you're right.

Tom Guleff said...

If Herenton wins the August primary, Consolidation is dead (DOA). Because, Steve, you said it best - "If he does, that says more about our city that I want to know". To the county voter (outside the city limit) this will just poison the well.

BTW, although I will fight against consolidation tooth and nail, but WW is not the answer for the 9th district.

Steve Steffens said...

Well, since WWH would be in Congress and and since he's no longer Mayor, I'm not real sure what one has to do with the other.

Let's just work to see that WWH doesn't win, eh?

The Reverend said...

"If he does, that says more about our city than I want to know."

The greatest line I've ever read in a blog! Exactly what I have been thinking and telling folks for months now. Tom is right, a city that votes for Herenton is a city that County voters want no part of.