Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Mamaw Knows Best
One problem that political consultants have is trying to figure out what plays well with the average voter. If political consultants think that an ad or an issue is going to play with average, blue-collar Tennesseans just like it does in their own political-consultant-head, then they will soon be unemployed, friendless, and generally shunned by society.
I spend most of my time asking people what they think of this and that, and if one takes careful notes and checks one's ego at the door, you can learn more from this sort of study than any focus group study or internal poll could ever provide.
Two of my most precious "political sounding boards" are my grandparents, Bob and Anita Wilson. (That's them in the picture above from Christmas, 1995, with my uncle, Jim Ripley, and father to the right.) They live in Greene County, where Granddaddy has owned a farm for decades. (I'll post more about the incredible life he has lived at a later date.)
I have a close relationship with my grandparents. I used to spend time during the summers of my youth working on their farm (it was cows and tobacco at that time, but the prime crop now resides with chickens). I call Mamaw several times a week, often just to get her opinion on the latest political ads or to catch up on news stories I have missed while in court.
So, when I spoke to Mamaw Tuesday night on my way home from a Tennessee Firearms Association meeting, I knew that Ed Bryant had hit a home run with his latest effort just by the excitement in her voice.
She had received a call from Darryl Waltrip, and he had asked her to vote for Ed Bryant. She loved it.
If these calls from the former Winston Cup Champion play the same way with the rest of "NASCAR Country," Ed Bryant will be your next United States Senator.
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