The State of Executive PowerMost of the news watchers in Tennessee are aware that Governor Phil Bredesen hightailed it to the Mayo Clinic for the treatment of his "tick bite." It's nothing big, we're told, just some medical treatment. Yet the Governor didn't bother to be treated at Vanderbilt, he went to Minnesota instead. I agree with Bill Hobbs (and by extension, with Kleinheider) that there is more to the story here.
Vandy has just as much ability to treat Bredesen's illness as the Mayo does. The only good explanation for why Jersey Phil headed out of town so quickly is to avoid press coverage about poorer health than what he is letting on in an election year.
The fact that Dep. Gov. Dave Cooley has announced the formation of a Transfer of Power Task Force does not bode well for the reality of the situation, especially when we DO have a transfer of power provision, Article III Section 12 of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee declares:
In case of the removal of the governor from office, or of his death, or resignation, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve on the speaker of the Senate; and in case of the death, removal from office, or resignation of the speaker of the Senate, the powers and duties of the office shall devolve on the speaker of the House of Representatives.
So it is Wilder and then Naifeh. The thought of either man exercising executive control is frightening beyond belief, and I suspect I am not the only Tennessean who believes that. Hence, this is why Bredesen's "people" need to keep the state of his health as quiet as possible.
(Hat tip: Jay Bush)