Monday, March 03, 2008
Saturday's SEC Meeting
- The Barrack Hussein Obama/Anti-Semite "controversy" that drew many a journalist turned out to be much ado about nothing. I spoke with several high-level GOP sources that confirmed that none of the repudiation by the national party or our legislators (Lamar, Corker, etc.) that has been reportedly occurring behind the scenes has been reality. We apparently are looking at either a media or possibly a liberal blogger-driven rumor cycle. Despite what this ex-journalist would call a "grilling" of SEC Chairman Robin Smith by state media (Tom Humphrey, Ken Whitehouse, etc.), there wasn't much in the way of additional headlines on this matter.
- The SEC, in anticipation of questions regarding unsubstantiated rumors of Robin Smith's chairmanship being in jeopardy, passed a resolution via unanimous voice consent at the inception of the meeting to support her. The resolution read as follows:
Robin Smith Resolution
The State Executive Committee of the Tennessee Republican Party wishes to commend Robin Smith for her commitment to the office of Chairman. Over the past seven months, she has displayed an extraordinary level of dedication to the office of which she was unanimously elected.
The State Executive Committee is fully supportive of the Chairman as she deals with the challenging issues and events that confront the Tennessee Republican Party from time to time.
The State Executive Committee eagerly looks forward to following Chairman Robin Smith into the Fall 2008 elections as she continues to lead the Tennessee Republican Party on the road of becoming the majority party of the State of Tennessee.
- Bill Hobbs wasn't in attendance, but I knew that in advance of the meeting because he was never supposed to be there Saturday. Hobbs had asked for and received permission to be with his wife on her birthday well in advance of this meeting.
- There is no doubt in my mind that Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will be running for Governor come 2010. Frist was at the meeting and briefly addressed the SEC. Prior to the event, we spoke, and I'm pretty sure that he got Lil Leo to commit to some door-to-door work for 2010 (providing that Leo has learned to walk by then, of course).
- Van Hilleary was defeated by John Ryder for the National Committeeman position. Both men had been campaigning pretty vigorously over the past month for the job, and there is not a lot of love lost between the two (given to how Van succeeded John last election). How Van lost this time was interesting, to say the least. On the first ballot, the vote was tied at 31-31, at which time a revote was ordered. While the first ballot was being counted, Meredith Hilleary and I had our two little ones (Virginia Hilleary and Leo Huddleston, respectfully) in the foyer of the committee room. Committeeman Scott Golden passed us heading for the door, saying that he had an event to attend for Congressman Marsha Blackburn and that a traffic accident on I-40 was likely going to impede his travels. When the vote was announced a tie, Meredith and I met again in the hallway and realized that Golden (and perhaps others) would not be present for the second balloting. We notified Chairman Smith as to why the count would be different and let the chips fall where they may. The second ballot was 31-30, and that is how what one media member called "Ryder's Revenge" occurred.
- Leo and Lamar are getting to be buddies. Lamar was amazed at how much our son had grown over the past two weeks.
- There certainly wasn't any attempt to stack the delegates for the convention with SEC members. It appeared to me that SEC members were mostly alternates, if they were fortunate enough to make the final cut at all.
- There was lots of talk amongst the Knox County delegation about the leadership void that has afflicted the local party over the past year. More on that to come...
That's all for now. Time to get my little one to his first day of daycare. Ughh.
That is terrific news about Bill Frist. He will be a great candidate for governor. Although I live in Florida, I am thinking of moving to Tennessee next year. We are looking for a manufactured home.