Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Lunching with Bob, Bill, and Jimmy
The VOLConWife and I both manipulated our schedules so that we could attend the lunch in support of Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate Bob Corker. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist spoke in favor of Bob after he himself was introduced by Congressman Jimmy Duncan.
- Incredible turnout for a midday meeting in the middle of the week. I estimate between 350 to 400 people attended. Having been present at many of these sort of things in the past, one never knows what to expect. That many people showing up at this time makes me think that turnout in Knoxville may be heavy for the former Mayor of Chattanooga (and perhaps all of the East Tennessee).
- Funniest moment of the event had to be Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam taking the microphone (literally) after everyone had already spoken and were exiting the stage. Haslam wasn't on the stage at the beginning, and everyone just ignored him as he said whatever it was that he was saying. Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale had spoken first at the podium, and that was probably the right time for his remarks. Haslam's thoughts? Not as well-timed.
- Funniest moment of the event, second place - Harold Ford, Jr. has some hippy following Corker around the state, videoing everything that Corker does. With all due respect, how little self-esteem does a person - a college graduate, no less - have to have to take that assignment full-time? Even better, this bloke isn't even from Tennessee! He was wearing a Tulane shirt, had Tulane window decals, and had out-of-state plates. So not only can't Ford raise money in the State of Tennessee, he has to recruit out-of-state hippies to do his grunt work. Priceless!
- It was a who's who list of local politics at the event. Stacey Campfield, Parkey Strader, Brian Hornback, Steve Hall (both of 'em), Tim Burchett, Steve Buttry, Ivan Harmon, Bill & Bobbie Christianberry - you name it, they were there.
- Corker's staff was - as it has been throughout the primary and general election - professional and courteous.
- Bob Corker has one of the strongest handshakes of anyone I have ever met. Seriously. It just sneaks up on you. Every time we shake hands, I expect my arm to inflate like some Popeye cartoon, given all of the pressure. Yes, it's a worthless observation, but it just crossed my mind...
- There was a wide range of ages at the event. One might expect more retired folks at a midday event, but that was not the case here. There were some retired folks, but there was a significant number of middle-aged professionals, as well as several representatives from the Knox County Young Republicans.
That's all for now. Check out the debate tonight from Chattanooga, if for any other reason than to see if Ford loses his composure like he did in Memphis, which he has all but promised that he will do (just like his daddy, his uncle, etc.). WBIR and WATE will be carrying the debate in Knoxville, WTVC has the coverage in Chattanooga, C-SPAN will be broadcasting the debate for cable and dish subscribers, and it can be watched on the Net here.
If Ford comes out of East TN with support in the 40's, he likely wins.