|Inside Tennessee segment from earlier this year|
Becker asked us to come up with the local, state and national political winners and losers, and the politician of the year.
(The Jan. 4 edition of Inside Tennessee will feature similar categories but they’ll be 2015 predictions. I stepped aside for this one because, quite frankly, I was too lazy to come up with some names.
Tune in to WBIR 10News Sunday at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow for everyone’s picks for this year.
Below are some of the more popular ones and why panel members voted the way they did.
WINNER: The Republican Party in general. Just look at the Eddie Pridemore-Daryl Fansler judicial race. Eddie, who had no political experience and didn’t bother to campaign, handily defeated long-time and well-respected chancellor, Daryl Fansler.
LOSER: Superintendent Jim McIntyre. The Knox County school system, under McIntyre’s leadership, faced a number of scandals during the past year and was subject of three audits that looked into school finances.
WBIR exposed a number of other eyebrow raising matters, too, that included (but not limited to): a “side agreement” that the Board of Education was supposed to sign that said members couldn’t ask McIntyre questions that would “stump” him; credit card bills that went unpaid (or were late); an employee on paid administrative leave for more than two years.
Further, his actions – when he reneged on a promise to let an anti-Sharia law group hold an after-school event at Farragut High School – cost taxpayers $17,500 when all sides agreed to settle.
He also was subject to Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett’s very public ridicule and belittlement throughout the year.
Some board members also picked former state Rep. Gloria Johnson and Democrats in general.
WINNER: Governor Bill Haslam. He’s got a 70 percent approval rating, and he easily sailed through an election. He finally stopped kowtowing to the Tea Party and he successfully championed Amendment 2.
His version of Obamacare might very well pass. He hired the popular Randy Boyd to serve as the state’s economic and development commissioner. And he’s now the chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association.
Not a bad year.
LOSER: The Tea Party. Two state lawmakers closely associated to the
WINNER: I don’t have one. There were none. See below for the logic. Some picked the Republican Party and there was another for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. And, if I'm not mistaken, there was a pick for President Obama. (Hey, economy is recovering and gas prices are down.)
LOSER: the politicians in general. I was tempted to go with President Obama. The Democrats lost most of the battleground contests; his approval ratings are in the toilet; and he gets to spend his final two years in office with a GOP-controlled Congress. Still, as a friend pointed out, his ratings are bad, but compared to Congress, he looks like a beauty queen. I figure at this point, folks just don’t like anyone all that much right now.
Others went with Obama.
POLITICIAN OF THE YEAR
Governor Bill Haslam. Personally, I wasn’t going to pick anyone. I think it’s strange to brag about being the best politician. But whatever. In the end, I agreed that the guy had a pretty good year.