Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why re-electing Lamar Alexander may well lead to GOVERNOR Ron Ramsey

I know what you're going to say after reading the headline; put the pipe down, Cracker.

You may say it's crazy (and of course, the GOP will deny this so fast it will make your head spin), but hear me out.  LAMAR! will turn 74 years old on July 3, which means that if he were to be A) re-elected and B) serve out a full term, he would be 80 years old at the end of that term.  Sure, he looks to be in good shape, but does anything he's done in the last few years make you think that he is ENJOYING what he's doing?

He left GOP Senate leadership because he was tired of dealing with the Tea Party wing of the GOP, watching them cost the GOP Senate seats around the country.  That's one reason he is running this year, to crush Joe Carr, who has gotten NO traction whatsoever.  Maybe if the Club For Growth thought Carr had a chance to knock off Alexander, they would have gotten behind Carr.  They haven't, and Alexander will cruise to victory in the GOP Primary on August 7.

Especially if the GOP can't capture the Senate in November, it's really hard to see why LAMAR! would want to stay in Washington if he can't get anything done.  So, why did he run?  To have a say in who replaces him, that's why.

Enter Bill Haslam.

Haslam, with his gazillions, is considered to be a prohibitive favorite for re-election in November simply based on money and the fact that most Democrats seem to be waiting for 2018 when the seat will be open again (coughKarlDeancough).  Haslam, too, is tired of dealing with the crazies in his party in Nashville, and would like to move up sooner rather than later.  It's true, he could wait until the end of a 2nd term, when many think he and Senator Bob Corker will attempt to swap seats; Corker has had his eyes on the Mansion for a while, I hear.

However, Corker has enough money to run in 2018 no matter what, and if Haslam really is beginning to hate his job, why SHOULDN'T Haslam cut a deal with Ron Ramsey?  (Don't think Speaker Harwell hasn't had nightmares about THIS possibility.  It's one thing to have Ramsey as an equal, it's quite another to have him as the BOSS.)

Um, what?

Let's follow this to its logical conclusion.  Alexander runs for and obtains re-election, and announces in the middle of 2015 that, for private and family reasons, he has decided to resign his seat.  A day or two later, Bill Haslam announces that he wants that seat, will resign as Governor and newly-ascendant GOVERNOR Ron Ramsey appoints his benefactor as the new US Senator.  So what if Haslam has to run in a 2016 Special Election?  Do you think Jim Cooper would challenge him?  Who on our side of the aisle could raise enough to do that?

And Tennessee is left with ole Bootsy himself to officially run the state he has been UN-officially running since he became Lt. Governor.   Rather a frightening thought, eh?  I think so too.

Which is why the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate now takes on a more important light.  The three people in the race are Nashville's Larry Crim (who couldn't even fend off Mark Clayton two years ago), and two men from Knoxville, attorney Terry Adams and attorney Gordon Ball.

I have heard both speak, but like better what I am hearing from Terry Adams.  Adams is younger, more energetic, FAR more progressive, and seems to have a better plan for winning a ground game than does Ball.  Ball did well to hire Kemba Ford as a front person for his Shelby County campaign; she has been everywhere representing him. He also seems to have gotten a lot of the SCDP helping him, by promising to help Shelby Democrats in the fall.  That, of course, is not a bad thing at all, until you realize that there is only ONE legislative seat in Big Shelby that COULD change hands; that would be House 96, where my political godfather, Dwayne Thompson, is challenging Steve McManus.

Ball, while a nice guy, has given more money at the national level to Democrats, has also given more money at the STATE level to the GOP.  Six years ago, Ball endorsed the fellow he is challenging now, and was a DEMOCRAT FOR HASLAM in 2010. Ball has also stated that he supports a 15% FLAT TAX, which he has tried to back away from and dance around.

Since I always tend to back the Progressives, I am supporting Terry Adams for this race, you can find him online here, and on Facebook here.  When it's a Democratic primary, I support the person who speaks my language, and that's why I like Terry Adams.  It doesn't matter to me how much money Ball happens to have, it's about what they are likely to do when they get to DC.  Every thing that I have seen from both men leads me to support Terry Adams, and I hope that you will, as well.

As a Democrat, I would support Ball in the event he wins the primary.  As a private citizen, I intend to see that that doesn't happen and that Terry Adams is nominated and then ELECTED to the United States Senate.

Of course, if you LIKE the idea of Senator Bill Haslam and Governor Ron Ramsey, you can vote for Lamar Alexander's re-election, if you choose.  However, I suspect that, if you liked that idea, you probably wouldn't be reading this blog.



Whites Creek said...

I have to wonder if Haslam is that much of a Milquetoast that he doesn't hold a grudge against Ramsey for usurping his governorship? I have no insight into Haslam's personality. Do we think he might be enough of a wimp to actually do what you suggest?

Jon Carroll said...

I don't think it's wimpy, I think its just an acknowledgement that the best way to move up is to do so in an off year non presidential election. I actually think it will happen in 2017 after the election. In a presidential race that the Republicans need every state they can cheat their way to, you don't want to put Tennessee in play.