Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Outlook for Tennessee's Governors race in 2018

As we sit here in March 2017 right now it looks like the democrat nomination for Governor will be between former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh(D-Ripley).  I give Dean a slight edge in that race based on name id and that his time in office was relatively a successful one.  But he'll have to get too Memphis a lot this year to work the vote over there because a good chunk of the primary vote comes from there and its in Fitzhugh's backyard.  The GOP side of things is a bit more complicated but it seems to be working itself out.  Last week it was revealed that State Senator Mark Green(R-Clarksville) who had been looking at running for Governor is now likely to be nominated by President Trump to be his Army Secretary so that removed him from the race next year.  Speaker Beth Harwell is making a lot of noise about running but I think Haslam and his crowd will cut off her money if'/when she jumps in and that'll ultimately force her back into the House by next spring..  Some still believe Congresswoman Dianne Black will jump into this race.  But I have serious doubts about that and the same can be said for US Senator Bob Corker as well.  I think that ship has already set sail and Black and Corker missed the proverbial boat.  Right now as I write this it appears the establishment wing of the Tennessee GOP (Haslam,Lamar!, Frist and that crowd) seems to be in the process of putting all their marbles on the candidacy of East Tennessee businessman Randy Boyd(who by the way owns the Johnson City Cardinals-a minor league affiliate of the St Louis Cardinals-that will play very well in West Tennessee).  Theres only one problem with this though.  Just like with Governor Haslam and Lamar!,  Randy Boyd was not a fan of President Trump's last year and almost certainly still isnt it, deep down.  As we saw last week when President Trump came to Nashville he is extremely popular with folks in this state.  People started arriving at 4am and they spent all day in the freezing cold temps to hear him speak that night at 7.  So that leaves a huge opening in the GOP primary for a "Trump Republican" to swoop in and go for it next year.  Thats why I wasnt shocked this week when State Senator Mae Beavers announced she's thinking about running for Governor.  In a lot of ways she was Trump long before the President ever seriously though about running.  She challenged a deeply establishment democrat in 2002 who was beloved by the democratic party and the media and won to the surprise of many.  She's taken a lot of heat this year for her run ins with the left over Obamacare but a candidate like her probably will play extremely well in the rural counties against Boyd where Trump won with over 70% of the vote last year.  Shes the only one at this time on the GOP side who can seriously claim to be a Trump Republican and have the voters buy it in the GOP primary.  She appeals to those voters who lined the streets of downtown Nashville last week to see Trump in a way that Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell, Dianne Black and Bob Corker can't mainly because their all from the establishment wing of the GOP. If it comes down to a straight up Beavers vs Boyd fight,  it sure will be an interesting June and July in 2018 on the GOP side.  As far as the general election sets up as of today.  Its very hard for me to imagine a scenario where the democrat whether its Dean or Fitzhugh winning this race in the end.  Hillary only won three counties(Shelby, Davidson and Haywood) last November in Tennessee.  To win next November the democrats would have to win somewhere around 25 to 30 more counties on top of those 3 that Hillary won.  Looking at the trends as of today it will be nothing short of a herculian task for the democrats to pull off.  The good news for the democrats though is that 19 months in politics is an eternity and the party that doesnt control the White House generally does well in mid term elections.  So we shall see....

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The odd thing about this election

There's a huge anti-Washington sentiment flowing through the Presidential race this year and its especially true on the GOP side.  Where pretty much all the top candidates over the past year have been from the anti-establishment wing.  But the odd thing about it is, it only appears to exist in the Presidential race so far.  So far there have been no upsets of any Congressmen or US Senators.  In recent years the Tea Party challenged GOP Senators in the primaries but that isnt the case this year.  We also had three very anti- Congress elections in a row back in 2006, 2008 and 2010.  But there isn't any sign so far that we are going to see anything like that this year. All the fervor and anger seems to be directed this year just at the White House.  Which is kind of odd because when you see such a sentiment in the Presidential race it usually trickles down to the Congressional races.  Theres still time for something to develop along those lines but its getting late... 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Don't get too cocky

A lot of republicans are gloating over yesterday's election results in Mississippi and Kentucky and they should be.  In Mississippi for example they now have a 73 to 49 majority in the State House and a 35 to 17 majority in the state senate.  Those majorities basically allow the GOP to pass what they want over the next four years and its also amazing considering the democrats had a 90 to 32 majority just 12 short years ago in the State House.  They should also be extremely happy over what happened in Kentucky as well. Only the second republican Governor in modern history and they also knocked off the State Auditor who was planning to run against US Senator Rand Paul next year.  So republicans have a lot to be happy about today.  But they should also stay grounded as well.  I remember in 1996 hearing a speech from Winton Blount who was the then Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.  He was still on cloud nine over Fob James knocking off Jim Folsom Jr in the Governor's race in 1994.  He made the infamous statement that there would never again be a democrat Governor in Alabama.  You want to take a guess what happened two years after he made that statement in 1996? Yep, a democrat was elected Governor of Alabama. You see the main reason why that happened in 1998 in Alabama was that the economy went south that year in the state. The voters nearly always punish the Governor of a state during an election year if the state economy is in a bad condition during that time.  It doesnt matter what party or what area of the country you are from.  Thats why republicans shouldn't get too cocky over what happened here in the south yesterday.  They should proceed from here with efforts to continue too improve the job market to make sure everything is going good when the next state elections come up in three years.  Alabama should continue too grow the area around Huntsville, the Shoals,Cullman and Jasper with the recruitment of the Aston Martin and Hyundai plants.  Tennessee should continue with the explosive growth around Nashville.  Now that I-22 is open through Tupelo, Mississippi's GOP should concentrate a lot of their economic efforts on that area.  If they go that route then it will be a while before the democrats will see the light of day down here in the deep south...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Roll Tide Speaker Hubbard

So whats going to happen in Alabama with regards to Mike Hubbard continuing to be House Speaker?  Thats the million dollar question right now.  State Rep Phil Williams from the Huntsville suburbs announced today he wants to challenge Hubbard in a new vote for Speaker.  State Rep Alan Farley said he regrets being on stage with Hubbard right after Hubbard was indicted.  Numerous Republicans are expressing disappointment with the Auburn lawmaker after a judge unsealed his emails and made them public last month.  Speaker Hubbard(R-Auburn) sent emails to folks like ex Governor Bob Riley literally begging for a job.  He sent emails to others offering to use his influence as Speaker to help them if they hired him as a consultant.  The emails were really bad from a pr perspective not to mention possibly criminal.  I don't believe anything will come from this latest uprising by Huntsville area Republicans though.  But make no mistake about it when Hubbard's trial gets under way in the spring even if he wins, he still might lose the Speakership depending on what comes out of the trial.  Hubbard's argument is that Attorney General Luther Strange is trying to frame him to keep him from running for Governor against Big Luther in 2018 in the GOP primary. After reading these emails though Im not sure that argument will hold water any longer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

So where do we go from here in the GOP race for President?

Lets start off with the obvious....Donald Trump isnt going anywhere.  Unless he falls victim to the Edwin Edwards getting caught in bed with a dead hooker or a live boy scenario he isnt going anywhere.  I keep hearing in some media outlets "should we take Trump seriously".  You are darn right you should.  He's a billionaire with near universal name id and his life has pretty much been an open book for the world to see over the past thirty years.  Another winner of tonights debate is Carly Fiorina.  Its going to be interesting to see how she deals with the Hewlett Packard stuff in the coming weeks as the media digs deeper into what happened there during her reign as CEO.  Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson make up the second tier right now.  I think Cruz and Rubio would both make great Presidents.  But I dont know if they'll be able to topple this anti Washington wave that Carson, Trump and Fiorina are riding in the GOP primary right now.  As far as Jeb goes, lets be honest about something this would be a fourth bland Bush term in the White House.  As we sit here in mid September I dont see how he recovers to win. Trump can blow him away in the money department and thats something Jeb's dad and brother never had to deal with in their runs.  After that you have Christie,Walker, Huckabee and Kasich.  If Trump falters you might see Christie take off...he has a lot of that Trump bravado.  The other three are just boring white guys.  My final thoughts concern Rand Paul.  Ive been extremely disappointed in him.  I would've never believed earlier this year that Paul would be doing this poorly.  He was doing all the right things there from going into democrat colleges with his conservative message to speaking to minority groups aligned with democrats and his anti-war message of this country being sick of wars.  I think looking back now that message probably appeals more to the general election crowd than the primary folks.  Unless something happens he's probably done and will withdraw in the coming weeks.  He's just starting his career as a politician so I dont believe he will want to do what his dad did and just become a gadfly.  The good news for all the anti Trump people in the GOP is that you still have just over two months left for your candidate to hit their stride.  Once we get to Thanksgiving the american people will zoom out for the holidays and when they zoom back in right after the new year it'll be time to vote at that point.  So they have to go at some point over the next eight weeks if they realistically want to win the GOP nomination.  I think the best candidate is Cruz followed by Rubio. But if Trump,Carson or Fiorina pulls it out I hope they will hit the proverbial gas and take it too Hillary.  That lady is NOT qualified to be President by any means in my opinion...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

So who will win the runoff for Mayor of Nashville?

We have a runoff between Megan Barry a left leaning city councilwoman and David Fox who is from the more conservative republican side of things.  Mr Fox came out of no where in mid June to secure a spot in this runoff and so did Barry as well.  They were both polling in the low single digits and were drastically outspent by Bill Freesman, Linda Rebrovick and Charles Robert Bone. But they both beat the odds in the end and made it into the runoff.  So who will win this race next month?  I think you have to give the edge to Ms. Barry at this time.  President Obama carried Nashville/Davidson County both times that he ran for President and to be honest the GOP has never won a major office such as Mayor in this county.  So the democrats and Ms. Barry have all these built in edges.  But I wouldn't write off Mr Fox just yet.  He's ran his campaign so far on what he calls the small stuff such as more sidewalks, improving traffic and ways of getting water. That kind of message appeals across both parties.  Ms. Barry though has  run a hard left campaign so far revolving around increasing the minimum wage, talking gay marriage and improving the pay of women in the city.  In the end I believe the only way Mr. Fox wins is if his message prevails and its mixed with some leftover bitterness among the supporters of Bill Freeman, Mr. Bone and Howard Gentry.  The partisan democrat leaning history of Davidson County is too much to overcome otherwise...

Friday, August 7, 2015

Its a rich man's world and we're just living in it

A lot of people are debating who won the first republican presidential debate last night.  While I would love for Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio to ultimately be the GOP nominee for President.  I think in the end this will come down to the way it is with pretty much everything else in life.  The richest person in a battle nearly always wins and in this case that means either Trump or Jeb Bush will likely win the republican nomination for President in the end.  What you'll be seeing today from the other 15 candidates is just a sideshow, money makes the world go around and thats especially true in national politics.  Its essentially the political version of mother's milk,  if you don't have it starting out then your time is very short unfortunately and the other fifteen candidates just don't have it...