The only office I'll be voting for where the outcome hasn't already been determined (though some experts would argue that Corker has this one wrapped up). Like the fine people at the Nashville Scene
, I cannot in good conscience endorse either Harold Ford, Jr. or Bob Corker. I will, however, be voting for Ford, even though I won't feel good about it.
I think Corker's most effective message has been: "I've lived my whole life in Tennessee; I went to UT; I started my own business with just the change in my pocket . . . ." I respect that about Corker. But even as a simple man with a southern draw from Tennessee, Corker has managed to become one with The Man. More importantly, Corker has failed to articulate anything closely resembling a vision. He has introduced us to his mother, his wife, and his girls, but he hasn't said much about what we can expect from him as a public servant. Based on what little he's told us, I'd expect him simply to follow the lead of Republican party leaders.
Then again, I'd kind of expect the same from Ford. For all the talk of Ford being a liberal, he's kind of a second Republican candidate. He's also lived his life in Washington and has been bred to be a politician. Sure, Ford isn't responsible for his own upbringing; but one does have to wonder how well Prince Harry really knows his constituents.
That said, I'm voting for Ford because, while he votes like a Republican, he's technically a Democrat. I don't consider myself a Democrat, and I haven't been terribly impressed with the Dems lately, but the Republicans gotta go. I personally believe that one should vote for a person to represent one's state, not for a party to rule the country; and I would like to see a movement to position strong independent candidates to run competitive races for state and national offices. But right now no such movement exists, and we need to send a message to senate Republicans. In recent years, they have put power ahead of service and have catered to a very small portion of the population. Moreover, their priorities are out of whack
. I'm not happy that Harold Ford, Jr. has voted for an anti-gay-marriage amendment and would do so again; but I am somewhat confident that, if Democrats take control, the Senate won't waste its time on such a worthless piece of legislation. (Of course, the day will come when Dems start pushing their own worthless legislation.)
If I'm honest with myself, part of me also wants to vote for Junior because so many of the ads run against him have been nasty, sophomoric, dirty, offensive, and embarrassing to the State of Tennessee.Governor:
Does it really matter who I vote for? Tennesseans tend to give incumbant governors a free pass. After Don Sundquist's second term ended in scandal, with his own party disowning him, you'd think we'd put more thought into the state's top office. But we don't. Maybe Tennesee governors should just serve one eight-year term.
I may actually vote for Green Party candidate Howard Switzer
(pictured). I'm not sure that he's qualified for the job, but I like what he stands for, and I might just use my vote to send a message (a very insignificant message that no one will notice). Bredesen is OK, but I'm still not happy with how he handled TennCare, and I disagree with him on capital punishment. Plus Switzer has a wicked beard.U.S. House:
In the past I've voted for Greens or skipped this one, but I've grown to like my Congressman
, Jim Cooper. As an aside, I've learned that Tom Kovach, a Constitutional Party candidate running against Cooper on the Republican ticket, has some interesting views about Christ's return.State Senate:
I hate to not vote for Doug Henry. The guy is 80 years old, no one has anything bad to say about him, he's been in the Tennessee Senate since Tennessee became a state, he has served us well, and he promptly answers my letters. Still, I'm seriously thinking about voting for fellow blogger Bob Krumm
. I'm certain that Bob and I disagree on a great many things, but I agree with him on most everything that is central to his campaign
. The one item on Bob's issues page that I disagree with is his insistence on English-only driver's license testing. I think we should encourage immigrants to learn English, but many people who come here legally are not fluent in English upon their arrival. They nonetheless need transportation (for, among other things, getting to English classes). Other than that, I like what Krumm has to say, and I don't think incumbants should automatically retain their seats. Still, I like Doug Henry and would have a hard time voting against him. I might decide this one in the booth.