Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Prefer Calling It Reagan Day...

But here in Jefferson County, we had a heck of a Lincoln Day Dinner last night:

Hearing Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam speak made me wonder where this Haslam was up to now in his political career. I wish we had heard more from this Haslam prior to his running for Governor. Mayor Haslam emphasized that his business experience could help him in marketing Tennessee to companies wishing to expand or relocate here and bring valuable jobs. What I was most struck by was that Haslam devoted the last part of his address to what he called "Tennessee values," most notably the pro-life issue. If you don't believe that 2010 is a conservative year, it should be noted that one of the State's most notorious moderates was trying to outflank his Republican primary opponents from their right last night. Haslam also made it a point to seek me out for a greeting last night-a very noble gesture, I thought. Word must have reached him that I defended him in this space on Thursday.

The most important development of the evening for me was learning that I no longer have an opponent for the 4th District State Executive Committeeman's seat-I have two opponents. An intra-party contest with Hobart Rice is one thing, and requires, I think, a certain methodology in this different and special kind of campaign. However, throwing someone like David Chesney into the mix is another matter entirely. David is a tireless political worker, and I've been forewarned that he will "live on the phone" if need be to achieve victory. I do not doubt David Chesney's commitment to Republican principles in the least, but he also has name recognition and the top of the ballot going for him in a way that neither Hobart nor I now enjoy. Familial connections aside, David Chesney has earned quite a lot of that name recognition for his service on the Claiborne County School Board. At the very least, I'd say it will be the most interesting race for an Executive Committee seat in a very long time indeed.

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