Post election post mortem potpourri
He went to Washington in the mid 90s as a man promising to usher in an era of change, reform and bipartisanship.
He leaves Washington as a wounded political animal, tangled up in the trappings of power, with a nasty partisan tenure as his legacy.
Strangest convergence of national and local politics in Tennessee?Republican state senator Tim Burchett doing a voiceover for an automated phone call paid for by a right wing Chicago-based 527 organization. In the voiceover Burchett trumps up allegations that U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford jr. is for government seizures of property owned by private citizens and small businessmen. Time and post-election disclosure will tell us if Burchett was paid for his hatchet job.
Biggest winner(s) on the national scene with Tennessee roots?Congressmen Jim Cooper and John Tanner, along with the other members of the "Blue Dog" coalition in the U.S. House. The Blue Dogs - fiscal conservatives who are fighting for more truthful and open accounting of our federal tax dollars - saw their ranks increase to as many as 47 members with gains across the nation. The Blue Dogs may become the tail that wags the leadership dog with key swing votes on important issues to come.
Worst call on campaign yard signs in Nashville?Republican Bob Krumm, who got trounced by incumbent state senator Doug Henry in the state's 21st district race. Krumm's yard signs simply read "Vote Bob State Senate." Memo to Krumm - when you run as an unknown with a common first name, you might consider using your last name on your yard signs.
Most creative and innovative approach to reporting election night returns in Nashville?The partnership between WKRN Channel 2 and The NashvillePost.com.
Post political journalist Ken Whitehouse, local pundit/mover/shaker James Weaver, local pr/GOP operative Kevin Phillips and a team of Ch. 2 producers operated an election war room, crunching results numbers precinct by precinct across the state, and feeding the info to a panel of pundits. The pundits - led by tv veterans Bob Mueller and Neil Orne - broadcast results and analysis via the local ABC affiliate channel, a comcast cable channel, local radio station WLAC, as well as Ch.2's blog. I was ugly window dressing to the whole affair (yea, I was the rotund bald guy without the tie sitting on the set like a drunk Budda whose name was misspelled on camera). Damn shame to ruin a good panel like radio man Steve Gill and the City Paper's Clint Brewer with the likes of me. But I have to say that it was damn cool to watch up close the unique media partnership - broadcast and web - push out news and spin in non-stop streaming fashion using both traditional and non-traditional means.
Most shameful display of political soothsaying in Tennessee?Any media outlet that paid for shitty polling, only to report the shitty polling results as gospel.
Most moving display of representative democracy at work in my neck of the woods?
The small band of citizens who waited patiently - some for up to 6 hours after the polls closed in an East Nashville precinct - to exercise their right to vote. As the midnight hour approached, when a citizen would step away from a voting machine after casting a ballot, the others remaining in line would cheer and applaud. The local poll workers (also heroes in my book for keeping the faith) ran out of "I Voted" stickers and resorted to handing out homemade "I Voted" stickers to the voting faithful.
Most fun mouthing off about politics this election cycle from a Tennessee perspective - even if no one is listening or paying attention?tennesseepoliticalpulse.com