Saturday, November 08, 2008

I Wish A Buck Was Still Silver

In the wake of the national election results, it is fitting that conservatives refocus our message and remind ourselves what we are all about. In this case, I think Merle Haggard does a pretty good job of asking and answering the most critical question that conservatives face.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

The Path to 50

The great speculation over who will be the next Speaker of the Tennessee House got slightly thinner this morning after Beth Harwell took her name out of contention:

Harwell, a Nashville Republican who co-chaired John McCain’s campaign in
Tennessee, said Minority Leader Jason Mumpower has the support to become
speaker, and that she would not challenge him, saying that “I think we need to
have peace within our caucus.”

Call me crazy, but this might be taken as an indication that the Republicans have 50 votes for Speaker. Only if that wasn't the case would Harwell's challenge be viable, because she would likely present herself as an alternative to Mumpower to try and bring home the Naifeh voters.

I heard from Capitol sources on Thursday evening that Jason Mumpower had cobbled together a deal to become Speaker. I believe that this is very likely the case, but knowing the kind of underhanded political games that Jimmy Naifeh likes to play, I won't feel safe that there is a Republican in the Speaker's Chair until the roll is called on January 13th.

One rumor that is circulating is that if he is defeated for the Speakership, Jimmy Naifeh will simply retire by resigning his seat in the House. One legislator I spoke with said "it isn't in Naifeh's nature to be content with not running things. He won't know what to do if he isn't Speaker."

It will be extremely interesing to see how all of this unfolds.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

From the Nashville Rumor Mill...

It has been reported to us from one source close to Capitol Hill that Jason Mumpower has cut a deal with Republicans who previously voted for House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh to insure that Mumpower is elected Speaker of the House in January. The new Republican House Majority is 50-49.

TN House District 17
Precincts Reporting: 100% (94 of 94)
Winner Candidate Incumbent Votes Vote %
X Frank Niceley (R) X
8492 72%

David Seal (I)
3277 28%

While none of this can be officially confirmed, we've also heard from a very reliable source that our own Frank Niceley has asked to be restored to his rightful place on the House Agriculture Committee. Further, Niceley may be appointed Ag Committee Chairman. Niceley or another Republican would replace current Agriculture Chairman Stratton Bone.

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Nothing More To Do

Millions of Barack Obama supporters are running around the country like mindless zombies in the aftermath of the General Election.

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The Seeds Are Germinating

In the wake of Barack Obama's victory on the national stage, there seems to be a lot of talk about what went wrong in the Republican Party to bring about the defeat of John McCain and the loss of House seats. We forget, however, that there is an awful lot going right in the GOP-especially with a new generation of leaders:

"The majority of the most popular governors in the country are Republicans,
even in this toxic atmosphere nationally for Republicans," said Ayres.

"I think Palin is clearly a part of the conversation, but we've also
got rising stars like Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, Tim Pawlenty in Minnesota and
Charlie Crist in Florida," Ayres said.

"These are people who have been very successful governors and are very
bright popular leaders in their states and an obvious source of talent for the
next generation of Republican leadership."

Our Governors really are a source of hope for the future of the Republican Party. Yes, everyone is still talking about Sarah Palin, but Bobby Jindal and Charlie Crist are worth watching as future candidates not only for the White House, but for the Senate, and for party leadership positions inside and outside of government. Experience has shown that when Republicans retool and place the party into the hands of principled conservatives after a defeat, Republicans bounce back in a much stronger position.

I really thought I might feel down after an Obama win, but I don't. I am really excited about the future of the Republican Party, especially in Tennessee. While many other parts of the country increased their vote share for Democrats, in Tennessee we gave the Republicans control of both Houses of the Legislature for the first time since Reconstruction-that means the GOP controls the General Assembly for the first time ever with legitimacy. We might be calling Jason Mumpower Mr. Speaker, or perhaps Beth Harwell will be called Madam Speaker-she would be the first woman ever chosen as Speaker of the House in Tennessee.

I even feel good about my own political future after talking to some folks around town. Everyone seems to think that when Red Parker, who is just a very nice and popular human being (not only is he a deacon at the local First Baptist Church here in White Pine, he owned an operated a full service filling station years ago) entered the race for City Council as a late-comer, he changed the game because he was going to pull tons of votes from the other candidates merely by being on the ballot. This was especially true for many of the town's senior citizens. No one knows how any of us would have done if Red had not decided to run. He came within three votes of winning, and his only campaign effort other than asking friends and family for their votes was to lay cards down in some of White Pine's more popular places to eat-something we all did. Many people have told me that since I am still new in town, I made a heck of a showing pulling the votes that I did in a field of some of White Pine's most well-known citizens. I don't know when I will run again, but I have saved all of my signs-most of them are in good enough shape for re-use.

I think that is how a lot of Republicans feel about Tuesday's defeats. Yes, we lost the election, but in defeat we can see the silver lining, and the seeds of rebirth are already germinating.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Faulkin' Majority

And here I thought Mike Faulk was ruined:

TN Senate District 4
Precincts Reporting: 100% (81 of 81)
Winner Candidate Incumbent Votes Vote %
X Mike Faulk (R)
29417 50%

Mike Williams (I) X 29171 50%

Congratulations to Mike Faulk. He was far from the perfect candidate, but his opponent was far worse. Further, based on my experience with Mike, I believe he will be a responsive Senator, ready to answer constituents' needs. I believe this not only because he had a good rapport with supporters during his campaign, but also (let's face it) because his margin of victory was too thin to be angering his constituents.

Something tells me our former State Senator could have some kind of job in the Bredesen Administration

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Living In the Parallel Universe

Firstly, congratulations are in order for now-President-Elect Barack Obama and his campaign team on winning such a decisive victory yesterday. As several commentators have pointed out, Barack Obama has run one of the best raw political campaigns in history, and his staff has raised the bar for how presidential campaigns in our country should be run.

Meanwhile, CNN projects a gain of 17 House seats for the Democrats with ten seats undecided. At most, the Dems won't likely gain more than 25. Further, the Democrats will not get the 60 Senate votes that they needed for a filibuster-proof majority. While these are significant numbers, they certainly aren't a wipeout or a Congressional landslide.

In the parallel universe of Tennessee, John McCain wins in a landslide, with Barack Obama carrying the counties one might expect him to carry (Jackson, Davidson, Hardeman, Haywood, Houston, and Shelby), but McCain's Statewide victory here isn't all that the Republicans have to write home about. While the GOP lost Congressional seats nationally, the Republicans appear to have gained control of both Houses of the Tennessee General Assembly for the first time since Reconstruction. (50-49 in the House, 19-14 in the Senate). Many Republicans I spoke with yesterday believed Republicans would gain control directly because of Obama-so I suppose Obama has already inadvertently done something good for us.

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A Post-Election Retrospective and Thoughts


A look at the national picture in the wake of Barack Obama's victory. How Tennessee differed so drastically from the national picture (Tennessee GOP controls both Houses of the new General Assembly). How conservatism will triumph inside the Republican Party as a result of Obama's win.

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My Race

I'll have a lot more to say about the national election in just a bit, but I know a lot of you are wondering about my City Council race:

Curtis Evans

Red Parker

David Voiles

Joshua Sinard

David Oatney

I'm quite sure there will be a few of you who don't particularly like me getting a kick out of the fact that I finished last As Nicole and several of my supporters pointed out, I lost the election by 61 votes. Curt Evans also ran a great campaign and throughout it, treated me with nothing but class and dignity. I really enjoyed working the polls yesterday with Curt, Ann Strom, Josh Sinard, and David Voiles-we had a wonderful time.

I was in a crowded field, and it says a lot about Red Parker's personal popularity that he barely campaigned, did not work the polls, and nearly won. I knew that when he entered the race we would all face an uphill climb. Several people said to me that it is a mark of success, not failure that I have lived in White Pine not quite three years and managed 125 votes with such a strong field-and I was initially told by some that the race would be so tight that 125 votes might win it.

I am proud of our campaign...I will run again. Not sure when the best time will be, but we'll try again at some point.

NOTE: I didn't include Ann Strom's numbers here, even though she topped the poll by a margin that left the rest of us in the dust. The reason is because that is exactly the result that the other candidates expected. We all knew that Ann was a shoe-in for re-election and we were fighting for that second, open spot that goes to the second-highest vote-getter.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Vote Today

A little guidance on voting today in East Tennessee...

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Today is the day we've been waiting for all these many months. Truthfully, preparation for what the country as a whole will do today has been going on since December of 2006. It has been a long, hard, tough road no matter your political persuasion or the candidates you are supporting. Today is a historic day, because either the United States will elect its first female Vice President, or its first black President.

Early voting turnout has been very high in my area, so it remains to be seen whether turnout will be high down at the precinct today. I heard one report that said almost half of the voters in our precinct and the Third District of Jefferson County have already voted. This is also a different election for me personally, as it is my first General Election as a candidate. I will be working the polls all day today starting at 9:00am, which is when voting begins here in Jefferson County.

A note to those of you who have my contact information: I would appreciate updates from the ground throughout the day, especially between the hours of 5:00 and 7:00pm, because I will still likely be campaigning at the polls and won't have access to radio or television, so feel free to ring my mobile phone.

It's all over but the shouting. We'll be celebrating tonight, win or lose-likely with friends at the local fire station.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Less Than 24 Hours To Go


The last 24 hours from the view of a candidate-the host. Where the numbers stand in the presidential election. The future of conservatism and the nation as a whole. Adam Graham joins the discussion.

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The Final Projection

Our final map projection has Barack Obama over 270 without even the major swing States in play:

<p><strong>><a href=''>Electoral College Prediction Map</a></strong> - Predict the winner of the general election. Use the map to experiment with winning combinations of states. Save your prediction and send it to friends.</p>

Based on our projections and those of others, I believe the following States are in play-Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, and Nevada.

As promised when we began this weekly series, the time has come to make the official prediction of this website on the outcome of the 2008 Presidential Election. How will all of this likely play out?

McCain will carry Ohio, Florida, and Nevada. The Missouri bellwether will even be broken in this election, as McCain will, I believe, carry the Show Me State. Another tight Red-Blue election will be the result Tuesday night, but I do not believe that John McCain's solid closing will be enough to save him.
<p><strong>><a href=''>Electoral College Prediction Map</a></strong> - Predict the winner of the general election. Use the map to experiment with winning combinations of states. Save your prediction and send it to friends.</p>

Right now I am saying that Virginia leans Obama, and I believe that it is tight enough to switch to the Republican column tomorrow, but even that will not be enough to turn the election.

John McCain is closing very well, I'm just not sure that his strong finish is quite enough.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

48 Hours

How tight is the presidential race heading into the last 48 hours?:

The latest Investor's Business Daily-TechnoMetrica poll out Sunday showed the race with just a 2-point spread, with Obama at 46.7 percent, McCain with 44.6 percent and 8.7 percent of the 844 likely voters still undecided.

The fat lady may be warming up, but she has not yet sung for John McCain. It ought to be noted that the IBD poll came the closest to getting the margins right in 2004. What exactly happened in 2004, anyway?

A lot of folks over the last 24 hours are asking me how I am doing and feeling. What they really mean, of course, is "how is your campaign going." That's tough to gauge when you've worked hard to get the word out and you are in a field of six people. However, it is a fair assessment to say that the race for City Council here in White Pine is so tight that no one is out of it. Any of us can win-literally-and we won't know anything until Tuesday night. As for me, I am in 48-hour blitz mode. I am doing everything I can to get my people to the polls who have not voted. If you live in the area of Northeast Jefferson County and you drive down Roy Messer Highway on Tuesday, you will likely see ample evidence of my presence.

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All Souls Requiem

In honor of All Souls, all of Mozart's Requiem.

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