Wednesday, June 27, 2007


McWherter as a Viable Candidate? Whatever...

Two bloggers for whom I have much respect - David Oatney and A.C. at Volunteer Voters - give rumored Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Mike McWherter way too much credit. Heck, David even says that McWherter would have stood a better chance against Bob Corker in 2006 than Harold Ford, Jr.

Hogwash. Ford is the best candidate that the Democrats have put up for statewide office since Al Gore. He's articulate, handsome, well-financed, a political animal, and silver-tongued. Those of us who have been around long enough knew that he was headed for the national stage before he was even elected to his first term in Congress. That he ran in the perfect year against a non-incumbent with a tremendously unpopular Republican President and still lost is a testimony to the Tennessee Republican Party - not a mark against Ford.

For whatever reason, David is willing to put forth and A.C. to somewhat endorse the idea that a political novice who happens to be the son of a former Tennessee Governor would be a better candidate. Of course, not many young voters even remember Ned Ray McWherter, but he wouldn't be too popular of a guy these days. Let's see - strong supporter of the need for a state income tax, strong proponent of taxes in general, started one social welfare program after another including the debacle known as TennCare, and several scandals to boot. Yeah, that would carry East Tennessee in 2008...

And since when does being the son of a politician make you automatically a viable candidate? Frank Goad Clement was one of the most popular governors in Tennessee history. How'd that work out for Bob Clement in 2002? Oh yeah - 11 points to the bad against Lamar. And people knew of Bob Clement before that ill-fated attempt to dethrone Lamar - heck, he was a Congressman.

Maybe I am being too hard on David and A.C., but the thought of McWherter even being a viable candidate, much less a better one than Harold Ford, Jr., is half-baked. Ford is still the best Democratic candidate in Tennessee - and he ain't crazy enough to take on Lamar in the Volunteer State.

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