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Bredesen: Just say no to nepotism

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by basso, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    Although i'm ambivalent about hillary's probable candidacy, and would welcome a female president, i think bredesen's point is correct. The country doesn't need a Clinton-Bush deathmatch in 2008. my current preferred Repulbilcan slate? Giulani/Rice, or Rice/Steele.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-1552437,00.html
    --
    Southern revolt on the ascent of Hillary
    Tony Allen-Mills, Nashville

    THE first signs of a Democratic revolt against Senator Hillary Clinton’s much-anticipated march on the White House are emerging in the American South, where one of the party’s most successful state governors called last week for Democrats to consider other candidates.

    In a calculated snub of Clinton’s accelerating bandwagon, Governor Philip Bredesen of Tennessee warned that voters were “kind of dissatisfied” with the Democrats’ current presidential contenders and that Clinton would face an “uphill road” to win the White House.

    Bredesen also expressed dismay that speculation about the 2008 race was already focused on the wife of former president Bill Clinton and on Jeb, the brother of President George W Bush and governor of Florida. “Surely in the United States we can go further than having to have a single family dominate one side and a single family dominate the other,” he said.

    Bredesen, 61, was giving his first interview to a foreign newspaper since his emergence earlier this year as a potential dark horse in the presidential race. It appeared to reflect an attempt to raise his international profile amid increasing speculation in Washington that he may become the next southern governor to come from obscurity to take the White House.

    Like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton before him, Bredesen has established a formidable Democratic power base in the conservative south. Clinton came from Hope, Arkansas; Bredesen jokes that when he briefly worked in England in the 1970s, he lived in Hope Cottage, Oxfordshire. His careful stewardship of Tennessee’s economic growth has made him one of the most popular governors in the state’s history.

    Bredesen is a soft-spoken, ruddy-faced figure who makes no effort to dodge potentially embarrassing questions. Asked about Clinton, most Democrats gush about how wonderfully she has performed as senator for New York.

    Bredesen instead replied: “People love her or they hate her and I don’t know in the end how all that plays out. But I sure hope there are other people who would step forward.”

    Who should those others be? “It may well be someone that nobody has thought of . . . the sense I get is that people are really hunting around and looking for something different.”

    Bredesen, a former mayor of Nashville, believes his party has “somehow gotten itself divorced” from the blue-collar constituency it has always relied on for presidential success: “I’ve always felt the Democratic party was a kind of alliance between the academics and intellectuals and working-class men and women. I think what happened is that in my lifetime, the academics won.”

    As a result, the governor said, the party had lost its broad appeal. He mocked other Democratic candidates who think connecting with middle America means quoting a few verses from the Bible or being photographed with guns.

    Bredesen is a lifelong clay pigeon crackshot, and everyone in Tennessee knows that his attachment to guns is real.

    He added: “I think a lot of the time the answer they are looking for is ‘Oh, if you just quote Matthew, Mark, Luke or John once in your speech’ that somehow everyone will think you’re one of them.”

    Many Democrats have asked him about his “secret” in Tennessee, where voters gave Bush a 14-point victory over Senator John Kerry. Bredesen’s approval ratings are above

    60% and he is a shoo-in for re-election next year.

    His supporters attribute his success to his modest manner, small-town roots, personal integrity and the quiet competence that helped him transform Nashville from a backwater into a thriving cultural hub.

    The Democrats’ problem, Bredesen believes, has little to do with bullets or the Bible. “The point I’m trying to make is that you’ve got to stand up for some clear things,” he said. He is tired of listening to members of his party attempting to appeal to both pro-gun and anti-gun voters: “When you do that, you’re left with nothing.”

    In a recent speech to southern Democrats in Atlanta, Bredesen summed up the Republican party platform as follows: “A traditional view of family, no abortion, no gay marriage, a central role for faith, gun over the mantel, low taxes, an assertive and combative view of American interests abroad.”

    He then challenged his colleagues to sum up the Democratic party in less than 30 words. Nobody could oblige. Asked what his 30 words would be, he replied: “I don’t have any yet. I’d be delighted to tell you if I did.” He may be waiting until after his re-election to unveil his national vision.

    If the party finds a new world view, he added, “I think the other stuff happens. The organisation happens. The excitement happens. We just haven’t had that person yet.” Hillary Clinton seems sure to disagree.
     
  2. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    I suggest you get more in touch with your southern roots or prepare to be disappointed.
     
  3. whag00

    whag00 Contributing Member

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    So why doesn't Bredesen consider running for president?
     
  4. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    here's an article from the WSJ about Bredesen.

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110006286

    --

    The Next Bubba?
    Tennessee's Gov. Phil Bredesen may be presidential material--unless fellow Democrats stop him.

    BY GLENN HARLAN REYNOLDS
    Sunday, February 13, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--The Democrats have noticed that senators and Northeasterners don't do especially well in presidential elections. That has led to some talk of running a governor from the South in 2008, but Southern Democratic governors are in short supply.

    Of those who remain, my governor, Phil Bredesen, is starting to get some attention. A while back, The Economist called him a governor with a CEO approach. And The New Republic recently made him the subject of a cover story focusing on his ability to win over the opposition. But should he decide to run for president in 2008, his biggest problems may come from his fellow Democrats.

    Right now he's well-liked, having replaced an unpopular Republican governor who made repeated efforts to pass a state income tax. Those efforts provoked near-riots as antitax protestors mobbed the Capitol (one man brought a bucket of tar and a bag of feathers), and the income tax died a painful death. That, however, left Tennessee with serious financial problems. Education--especially higher education--was underfunded, and the TennCare health insurance program, a sort of HillaryCare-lite, was devouring the state budget.

    Gov. Bredesen met the problems head-on, with 9% across-the-board spending cuts and a novel approach: He said what he was going to do, and then he did it. His first fiscal year ended with the state in surplus, and the "rainy day fund" is at its highest level in history.

    Gov. Bredesen had beaten a popular Republican, former Rep. Van Hilleary, who was regarded as a near shoo-in at the beginning of the campaign. That might have inspired bitterness among the defeated. But it didn't, and the Bredesen style has a lot to do with that.

    Phil Bredesen is a Northerner, and conventional wisdom says that they don't do well in the South. But Southerners have a tradition of accepting smart Yankees into the fold, so long as they're respectful and not condescending. That, along with a willingness to learn from his mistakes, is Gov. Bredesen's secret.

    In his first run for governor, Mr. Bredesen campaigned as an almost Dukakis-like technocrat, stressing his business experience and managerial skills. He lost. But by the time he ran again, he had learned how to present a less chilly image. As The New Republic points out, he traveled the state, meeting with opponents and listening respectfully, and without an ounce of the condescension that marked John Kerry's efforts to reach out to the good-old-boy crowd. Instead of TV commercials, he attended chili suppers and town meetings. He listened to people, and they responded to his demonstrations of respect.

    It really did play out this way. The result was that the standard move against a candidate like Phil Bredesen, painting him as an out-of-touch outsider, didn't work, because it wasn't true. He also wasn't afraid to step away from scripts and onto what's usually regarded as enemy turf. One of the things that's struck me most is how well Gov. Bredesen does on conservative talk radio. He answers questions rather than ducking them or retreating into slogans and sound bites, and as a result the hosts (and listeners) respect him even when they disagree. That's an important skill: If you can imagine a Democratic presidential nominee who will hold his own on Rush Limbaugh's or Hugh Hewitt's show, you're imagining a Democrat who could win the general election.

    Gov. Bredesen's success at reaching out to the opposition is undeniable. He's probably the most popular governor in Tennessee history, and there are even people around the state who call themselves "Republicans for Bredesen" and plan on backing him, across party lines, if he runs for president in 2008. His biggest problems, though, may come from within his own party.

    The state income tax has long been a holy grail for the urban part of Tennessee's Democratic Party; Gov. Bredesen isn't pushing it. Meanwhile, his TennCare reforms are angering people who don't want to see benefits cut, and he is waging all-out war against the public-interest lawyers who have turned to the courts, over and over again, to block efforts to shrink TennCare rolls or lower benefits. This led Gov. Bredesen to comment, in his Jan. 31 State of the State Address, that "there are many people who claim to represent the public interest in this, but not a one of them has ever stood before the voters." This attitude has ruffled some feathers among the state's public-interest community, and the journalists who tend to sympathize with its views and goals.

    Gov. Bredesen also alienated trial lawyers with a workers' compensation reform plan that they regard as antilawyer and antiworker. Knoxville trial lawyer and lifelong Democrat Douglas C. Weinstein comments, "I liked the guy when he ran, and I don't think much of him now. He relied on the support of lawyers like me, and he sold us down the river."

    For other Democrats, Gov. Bredesen's ability to win praise from Republicans is more worrisome than his policies. Tennessee Democratic blogger South Knox Bubba criticizes Gov. Bredesen for his TennCare efforts and for the workers' comp reform, but his strongest criticism comes here: "I hate to accuse Bredesen of being a sellout. But when heartless right-wing 'Christian' conservatives and rabid neo-conservatives bent on world domination start singing his praises, you know there's something wrong."

    When you're a minority party, as the Democrats are, reaching out to the opposition would seem to be essential. But whatever his other skills, if Gov. Bredesen's fellow Democrats can't appreciate that, he's going to have problems.

    Mr. Reynolds, publisher of InstaPundit.com, is a law professor at the University of Tennessee.
     
  5. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    basso, what makes you want Rice as President? I have yet to see a valid reason for Republicans to desire this woman as their President. Can you explain your attraction? Thanks.



    Keep D&D Civil!!
     
  6. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    He's an ass-man? :confused:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]

    Just say no to nepotism......
     
  8. wouldabeen23

    wouldabeen23 Contributing Member

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    ehhh...I dunno, I'm as big a sucker as any Dem for someone with true grassroots appeal and no-nosense style.

    I want the Democrats to hitch their wagon to Obama, he is the future as far as I'm concerned but says he is committed to the Senate and IL at this point.
     
  9. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    i have my doubts about her as a politician. at heart, i'm am, or was, an atlanticist and i like her foreign policy chops. she has little domestic experience, but ample experiece inside governent. i also think it's high time this country elected a woman, and she's probably the most politically attractive woman on the republican side. however, i don't think we should elect a woman just for the sake of doing so. if i had my druthers, i'd vote for giuliani- he comes closest to my own views.
     
  10. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Wow, thanks for the reply, basso. I must say that to be torn between Giuliani and Rice is one heck of a position, considering just how different they are. I think it would be similar to me being torn between Ted Kennedy and Zell Miller... how schizophrenic is that?? ;)

    (I wouldn't want either one running for President today, obviously!)



    Keep D&D Civil!!
     
  11. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet

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    Just like Dubya, only well spoken, black, and a woman?

    I would like Rice as a president because she is very smart, comes from that oh so rare breed of conservatives in academia, would signal a dramatic shift in the perception of the Republican party (hard to call a party racist or a good ol' boys club if they have a black woman as president) has a lot of foreign policy experience, and would really cheese off the liberals.
     
  12. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Will you continue to oppose affirmative action (which you have unequivocally stated you do: "The Republican stance more closely represents mine on the political issues that most concern me. . . . I am against affirmative action." ) despite obviously and explicitly taking her race and sex into account as positives when making your choice?
     
    #12 SamFisher, Apr 4, 2005
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2005
  13. wouldabeen23

    wouldabeen23 Contributing Member

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    Yeeeaahhhhh...thats a problem though isn't it Moniker? The whole "hard to call the party racist or a good ole' boys club if they have a Black women as president..." You are telling me that Southern-White-male voters, your obvious base besides the uber rich which Dubya considers his personal base, will let Rice get through the Primaries and run on the Republican ticket as President?
    The day that the solid south votes for a black woman to be president is the day Robert E. Lee and the Confederate army "shall raise again" as a ghost army to start a campaign of world domination punctuated by the earth being covered with liquid hot magma ala Dr. Evil.
    ;)
     
  14. HayesStreet

    HayesStreet Member

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    Its not hypocritical to both be against affirmative action and claim Rice would be good for the Republican party image.
     
  15. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    It's pretty damned hypocritical to say that you are a Republican because you oppose affirmative action - and then say you support Rice because she's "Just like Dubya, only well spoken, black, and a woman?"

    Actually, not only is that pretty damned hypocritical, it's in fact the definition of "pretty damned hypocritical" if you were to look it up in the dictionary, where there is a picture of these two posts, side by side.

    Explain why it's not if you feel differently. Don't just say "black is white" and then stop.
     
  16. langal

    langal Contributing Member

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    LOL-

    Are you saying that Condi has a nice butt? Can't really tell from the pic - maybe she could wear some form-fitting slacks for us pervs. I'll send her a copy of "Buns of Steel" when she gears up for the campaign season.

    Hate to say it - but Condi appeals to a lot of us Republicans simply because she is a black woman. It would be an "in your face" gesture to the Democrats. I freely admit this and yes, I am against race-based implementation of affirmative action. Is it a bit hypocritical? Probably yes. But we're talking about politics here - hypocrisy is almost assumed - and Condi has risen to a top governmental post presumably by her own merits. I never agree 100 percent with any of the candidates' positions anyways. I supose pro-choice, anti-affirmative action Republicans like myself have to settle for less than our ideal.
     
  17. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Nice booty? Possibly, but she's definitely a butterface if that's true...

    Look, I'm not saying that it's wrong, or unacceptable to favor Condi partially because she's black - just like I don't think it's wrong or unacceptable to look at race as a positive in other arenas (which the supreme court agrees with, but anyway...).

    However, politics or not, the next time a Condi-toting conservative says "AA is wrong and unjust, we need to live in a color blind society" and decry the use of race as a plus factor when they overwhelmingly do so themselves when filling allegedly the most important job in the world - it makes me question the validitiy of their belief in that principle rather than just empty sloganeering because it's the party line - or that they are acting out of pure self-interest and make up the principles later.

    As for settling for less than your ideal, as a pro-choice republican you've done (and will be doing) that a lot unfortunately for all of us in that camp. (For the record, I have read that CR is pro-choice (and maybe even pro-AA too)).
     
  18. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    i've always been much less of an issue voter than many. compromise is inherent in the office, and campaign promises are so easily broken that they're almost useless. character is much more important to me. although the differences in this regard between them perhaps wasn't so obvious during the 2000 campaign, during the debacle that followed in florida i thought that W's character really showed through (your mileage may vary ;) ), and really came to the fore after 9/11.

    Giuliani and Rice both strike me as persons of high character; hillary less so. bredesen? don't know enough about him, but i'm intrigued.
     
  19. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    the issue is really whether having a woman, or a minority, given this country's checkered history with providing equal rights to both, as president represents a good in and of itself. i'd answer in the affirmative. a country that professes equal opportunity for all, yet refuses to consider all for the highest office in the land, is a country that continues to fail to live up to its highest aspirations for itself. as i implied earlier, i wouldn't vote for a black woman just to fullfill that ideal, but when a well qualified one presents herself? you betcha.

    You're outing yourself as a pro-choice republican?
     
  20. langal

    langal Contributing Member

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    If anything - a Condi candidacy would be sure to spice up the primaries. Worth the price of admission right there.
     

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