Tuesday, August 8, 2017

"Infighting hits GOP in governor's race," reports seems exaggerated.

 I attended Senator Jack Johnson's Boots, Beans and Barbecue event on Sunday and as always enjoyed it. The music by the Austin Brothers who play real country music with covers of Merle Haggard and George Jones and Ray Price play my kind of music. The barbecue from Martins Barbecue is as good as any barbecue I have had. It was a pleasure to speak to Senator Johnson and thank him for keeping Nashville government from going off the deep end and to encourage him to keep Nashville on a short leach. It was a pleasure to see old friends and meet new people and talk politics.

The program this year was a presentation from all of the Republican candidates for governor except for Randy Boyd who was unable to attend the event. I have previously heard speeches by Senator Mae Beavers, Speaker Beth Harwell, and U.S Congressman Diane Black.  It was my first time to hear from Bill Lee.  Each speaker spoke from four to eight minutes.  I really did not see the speeches as an attack on their opponents.  No one mentioned the other by name or spoke ill of their competitors and I did listen closely. The tone was not anger. The room was not filled with tension. Sure, there are differences among the candidates and they tried to distinguish themselves from their opponents but if you were there you did not leave with the same impression you would have had of the event if you only know what you read in the paper.

If you read of the event from the AP coverage, you would have thought it was a free for all blood fest. Below are excepts from the AP story which was carried in newspapers across the county.

 San Francisco Chronicle- ...U.S. Rep. Diane Black on Sunday took aim at what she described as "weak-kneed" Republicans in Congress — and inside the state Capitol, where rival candidate Beth Harwell is speaker of the House.

"We can find ... Republicans who are too weak or too meek right here in Nashville," said Black. "Folks, the people of Tennessee did not give us the majority to be meek." "That's the job of our next governor: To lead the state in a way with a firm hand (and) a strong spine," she said. "What Tennessee needs is a strong leader."

...State Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet said in her remarks that she decided to join the race after fielding calls from supporters who said they wanted a "good conservative in the governor's race."
While the candidates did say those things, you expect candidates seeking office to try to distinguish themselves from their opponents. I think to characterize the speeches as "infighting" or "targeting each other," is a misrepresentation of what happened. 

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