While presumptive GOP nominee Bill Haslam has been neglecting his duties as Mayor of Knoxville and flitting around the state on private jets, Mike McWherter has been out working hard, literally, shoveling mulch, busing tables, and installing HVAC equipment to get to know Tennessee's small business owners and listening to their concerns.
McWherter has kept his media powder dry, while Haslam has spent over $7 million trying to convince Republicans and teabaggers that he's just as crazy as Wamp or Ramsey. That's more than Gov. Bredesen spent on his primary and general election campaigns combined in 2006. And Haslam's only just getting warmed up.
McWherter has a head start and is using it to his advantage. The more I learn about him the more I like him. (See Tom Humphrey's "day on the campaign trail" article from yesterday.) Sure, he's said some things that don't sit well with progressives. Just like Harold Ford Jr. But our advice to Democrats is to put away the knives and get behind our guy. Unless you want a less qualified, less accomplished Bob Corker clone running the state.
Well thought out and rational, I gotta admit. However, our favorite Aunt B. has read this and says Randy is right, but she just doesn't care:
The Democratic strategy this silly season, instead of even tossing an occasional bone to the progressives, has been to make it as clear as possible that the progressives can go fuck ourselves. And not just the progressives. It’s not like immigrant communities or science teachers are well-known progressive constituencies. Our Muslim community is not a bastion of progressive beliefs.
So, it’s not just progressives Democrats have asked to suck it with McWherter.
There are a lot of people in this state who need the Democrats to stand up (and I would hope stand up proudly) for them and the Democrats, McWherter especially, has signaled that our problems are not his problem.
Then his problems aren’t mine.
Ouch! I actually understand her point, as a progressive Democrat who feels ignored this PRIMARY season. If it is true that there are not as many Democrats as Republicans in Tennessee (and I do NOT actually believe that, by the way) then he needs every Democratic vote he can get, and that means moving OUR direction for a change.
Let me let B. sum it up:
But everyone has some place beyond which they can’t follow a politician, just because he has a D behind his name.
For me, we are at that place. If McWherter had spent a quarter of the time he’s spent hanging out with folks who are like him hanging out with people who are not like him–listening to gay people or immigrants or Muslims or science teachers or people from Memphis or hell, people who aren’t working–if he showed any interest in the experiences of people who are different than him, instead of constantly signaling that he’s the candidate (along with the other three) of people just like him, I might feel differently.