Lessons From Ned McWherterApril 9, 2009 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed
It appears that the Nashville Scene is wondering the same thing I am about the announcement yesterday from Sen. Roy Herron regarding his, no offense Roy, pretty sad little statement about running for governor. The question is what is the Mike McWherter angle and where does he fit in amongst the democratic candidates who have announced.
I think it comes down to who is going to commit the cash or who can do an honest-to-goodness grassroots campaign that can raise the money and the passion they need to go the distance balanced with the big money people finding a fine line of garnering statewide support.
Right now, it’s still early.
So, we have McWherter and Herron, both possibly in the race from my little neck of the woods? This brings up a couple of things as they are both huge parts of the Ned McWherter power machine. First of all, does this mean that McWherter had decided to back out? Does Herron have a trump card that we might not know about? McWherter was pretty masterful in raising money for Sen. Lowe Finney’s campaign but the will he/won’t he mess that happened a couple of years ago still weighs heavy.
The response in Hoots from the folks I talked to yesterday wasn’t necessarily for or against Herron quite frankly. There wasn’t a whole lot of surprise (actually, I think I was more surprised than anyone which shows you that I might be a maroon) and there wasn’t a lot of talk as everyone was keyed in on a couple of local things that were going on. A lot of shrugging of the shoulders and “all righty then” sort of attitude.
One conversation that held a lot of merit for me was one I had with a younger voter who remembers the legacy of the elder McWherter but not actually his tenure as a very popular governor. This is something I hadn’t really considered as she thought of Ned as more of what she had learned in her Tennessee history books than the powerful player (who still is if you ask me) that he was while in the House and Governor’s Mansion.
It reminded me that there is always a lesson to be learned from the man Hoots calls “Ned Ray” and that is that he always had his finger on the pulse of his county and northwest Tennessee. He knew your name, your cousin’s name, your dog’s name, the health of your grandparents and he was always accessible.
These are lessons that his son and Herron should heed because when you announce you are going to run for governor, you want excitement. I’d say Mike should hit his hometown of Jackson and Herron should be on the streets creating a buzz where he lives as well.
And hanging on to try to control the message isn’t going to work as the elder McWherter didn’t have to contend with the innertubes, where people get crabby with politicians trying to control the message instead of just letting it fly.
Some of us who are of the sandwich generation where we remember old school politics and new idea politics are just about done with the message that is being sent out from Nashville right now which Laura explains perfectly.