Friday, December 26, 2014

Inside Tennessee picks political winners, losers Sunday on WBIR

The Inside Tennessee “super panel” met last Monday to tape this Sunday’s show. It included PR people Susan Williams and Mike Cohen; attorneys Don Bosch and Dennis Francis; moderator John “The Colorado Kid” Becker, and me, the Man of the People.

Heh. Ha.

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.

LOCAL

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.

Eddie Pridemore
Why? Because Eddie had an “R” next to his name. Look, no disrespect to Pridemore, but a sign language-speaking chimpanzee was winning that one. Provided he was a Republican. (Heck, Eddie could very well be the new face of the local GOP. Heh.)

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.

Jim McIntyre
The superintendent lost control of an 8-1 rubberstamp Board of Education during the elections and afterward, and at one point was on the outside looking in at a 4-5 board.

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.

STATE

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.

Bill Haslam
Further he divested himself – whether it was his decision or not – of the highly controversial Kevin Huffman, his now former education commissioner. He wisely put Common Core on hold and actually listened (a rare trait among leaders) to the teachers and the public.

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
party – Stacey Campfield and Steve Hall – are gone. People used to joke that Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey was “the real governor.” They don’t do that anymore. Further, Joe Carr, the party’s darling to defeat incumbent Republican Lamar Alexander, didn’t win. In other states the Tea Party has picked up steam, including securing a national race or two against long-time incumbents. Not in Tennessee.

NATIONAL

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.)
Congress

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.

2 comments:

Bill Young said...

Barry Goldwater laid the foundation for the modern Conservative Crusade;if you can't win this election,build for the next one.Was the Carr campaign building for 2016? When you look at the August US Senate Republican primary returns there are counties,all across the state,where Carr won or was close.Keep in mind,the Republican wing of the party likes to organizes thru a statewide candidate,Haslam in 2014.There are no statewide races in 16.Tea Party folks organize, county by county,district by district.If Tea Party,in 14 Carr campaign,built for 16 primary campaign,turn their vote out and the Republican wing doesn't,Tea Party could pick up votes,Tennessee House/Senate Republican caucus in 2016 state Republican primary

Bill Young said...

Barry Goldwater laid the foundation for the modern Conservative Crusade;if you can't win this election,build for the next one.Was the Carr campaign building for 2016? When you look at the August US Senate Republican primary returns there are counties,all across the state,where Carr won or was close.Keep in mind,the Republican wing of the party likes to organizes thru a statewide candidate,Haslam in 2014.There are no statewide races in 16.Tea Party folks organize, county by county,district by district.If Tea Party,in 14 Carr campaign,built for 16 primary campaign,turn their vote out and the Republican wing doesn't,Tea Party could pick up votes,Tennessee House/Senate Republican caucus in 2016 state Republican primary