Aug 19 2008
09:30 pm

Do you recall the last time you saw Phil Bredesen stumping at a Wal-Mart on bread-&-butter issues?

Yeah. Me neither...

"I particularly hope he strengthens his economic message — even Senator Obama can speak more clearly and specifically about the kitchen-table, bread-and-butter issues like high energy costs," said Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio. "It's fine to tell people about hope and change, but you have to have plenty of concrete, pragmatic ideas that bring hope and change to life."

Or, in the blunter words of Gov. Phil Bredesen, Democrat of Tennessee: "Instead of giving big speeches at big stadiums, he needs to give straight-up 10-word answers to people at Wal-Mart about how he would improve their lives."


Mr. Bredesen, of Tennessee, said that while the Democrats had little chance of carrying his state — the Obama camp is sending Mr. Bredesen to campaign in other states — Mr. Obama could still take steps to appeal to undecided Democrats there that might increase his chances elsewhere.

"I would really like to see him do things in Tennessee that would help in other working-class and blue-collar places, like Ohio," Mr. Bredesen said. "Job security and health care are huge here. He needs to come to the aisle of Home Depot and show them that a Harvard graduate — which I am as well — knows how to help them."

Thanks, Phil. Thanks for using your leadership position to help keep Tennessee in the "net export" column for the Democratic Party.

(Surely a Harvard man like Phil ought to be able to quickly translate, "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche." Naturelment. Certainly, job security and health care are huge here - with an unemployment rate a full point & change worse than the national rate and 15.7% of the population currently uninsured - they're huge, festering problems. And in a lamentably predictable tradition befitting this deeply conservative technocrat, the "answer" is apparently to keep making deeper cuts.)

yellowdog's picture

Bredesen is correct. Obama

Bredesen is correct. Obama has a lot of work to do if he is going to convince white working-class Americans that he will lead change that will matter to them. Here is an interesting and candid version of this line of thought:


Andy Axel's picture

C'mon, now... do you really

C'mon, now... do you really think that Bredesen has a good grip of the 10-word explanation, of the trip to the Home Depot to explain his agenda? Was it really his "common man" touch that won him widespread approval in the state? Was it really his homespun touch at the Wal-Mart?

He may be correct, but he is far from a good example of the stuff he's preaching.

Bredesen is a number of things, but a sound-bite driven, down-home ranconteur ain't one of 'em.


"It's gettin' so a businessman can't expect no return from a fixed fight. Now, if you can't trust a fix, what can you trust?"

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