Monday, May 28, 2018

Meanwhile, Next Door in Tennessee

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn

The US Senate race in Tennessee could be the sleeper upset in 2018 that tilts the Senate to the Democrats. Presumptive Republican nominee and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (her primary will be August 2) will likely face Democratic former governor Phil Bredesen for the Bob Corker seat.

Bredesen was and remains popular, and Republicans have got a good case of nerves. Big names and big money are sweeping into Nashville to shore up Blackburn, who looks weak. Tomorrow, Corporal Bonespurs will headline for Blackburn at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium (after a private fundraising event), and the Koch Bros. are funding 6-figure advertising that praises Blackburn for voting against the $1.3 trillion spending bill in March. Virginia Foxx voted for it, incidentally.

Trump's rally tomorrow will be about his own aggrandizement more than Blackburn's election, but he is helping her raise big bucks at a private reception. Ready to barf? Admission options include a private round-table with Trump for $44,300 a couple; a private photo reception with Trump for $10,800 per couple; or just the general reception, at $2,700 per couple.

Later, at the rally, Trump will be joined on-stage by country music star and Celebrity Apprentice alum Trace Adkins. Adkins has publicly urged Trump to "stay off Twitter" and supports the president conditionally: “I think we ought to try a businessman running the show for awhile. I mean, nothing else has worked. The whole thing has just gotten — I mean, it’s just really hard to take any of it seriously right now. It’s just so crazy, just the way this whole campaign in all respects has just gotten a little silly from time to time.”

Phil Bredesen
Congresswoman Blackburn is a former beauty pageant contestant who turned managing her image into a bankable business managing other people's images. According to Wikipedia, "In 1975 she was named Director of Retail Fashion and Special Events of the Castner Knott Division of Mercantile Stores, Inc. She held this position until 1978, when she became the owner of Marketing Strategies, a promotion-event management and image consulting firm. She continues to run this business." She's also been in Congress since 2002, the same year Phil Bredesen was first elected governor.

Bredesen currently chairs a firm that develops and operates solar power stations. He founded the health insurance company HealthAmerica, and he served two terms as mayor of Nashville. The worst thing Blackburn can say about him -- and she will -- is "he ain't from around here." He arrived in Tennessee in 1975 from Massachusetts, but he seems to have fit in pretty well with the home folks.

Isn't he what Trace Adkins thought a good idea in 2015, "a businessman running the show"?

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