Rockin' RobinFormer Tennessee Republican Chairman Robin Smith is preparing an announcement tour tomorrow and Thursday throughout the 3rd Congressional District:
Former state Republican Chairman Robin Smith has scheduled a two-day tour through the 11 counties of the 3rd Congressional District to kick off her campaign for the seat now held by Rep. Zach Wamp, who is running for Governor.
In a list of campaign stops distributed to media, Mark Winslow, who served as chief of state for the state Republican party, is designated as contact person for Smith. In an interview, Winslow said he left his party post last month and is "helping Robin out as she goes through the decision-making process."
How effective could Robin Smith be as a Congressional candidate? Smith was by far one of the best (if not the best) State Republican Chairman in the country during her tenure, and was by far the most politically effective Chairman that the Tennessee Republican Party has ever had. If Robin shows even half the zeal for a Congressional campaign as she showed for getting Republicans elected to the Tennessee General Assembly, she will win the seat in the 3rd District. If she should allow the race to consume her in the manner that she let the General Assembly control her political movements as party Chairman, she will be elected in a landslide.
It speaks much of her abilities that as soon as she departs as GOP Chair, the internal communications structure she built with Bill Hobbs devoted to Statewide victory fell to pieces under inferior leadership.
A Congresswoman Smith will likely have a voting record that makes her predecessor look like a rabid liberal (compared to Robin, Zach Wamp really does look liberal), and her election could signal the beginning of the end of the lock that the Howard Baker wing of the party has had on East Tennessee Congressional politics.
Sadly, I live in the First District so I won't be able to vote for Robin (and ironically enough, I think all of Jefferson County should be drawn back into the First District as it once was, since we don't have as much in common with Chattanooga), but I am more than willing to help her win.