On the Internet, state Sen. Stacey Campfield may well be attracting more interest than anyone from Tennessee doing reports on the Republican National Convention. Posts on his blog from the convention have ranged from reporting that “I don’t give a rat’s ass” has become a catchphrase in the Tennessee delegation – it ties into Sen. Jim Summerville using the phrase in an email to the legislature’s Black Caucus – to a review the weather.
Some sample reaction: The “rat’s ass” remark prompted a Memphis Flyer post declaring, basically, that Campfield was confirming that Republicans are racist. Jeff Woods, meanwhile, pointed to Campfield posts in general on Tuesday – “So far with the festivities just getting under way, he’s managed to offend women, African Americans and residents of virtually the entire Gulf Coast.” (A day earlier, Woodsie declared that “Congressman Todd Akin’s unfortunate remarks about rape and pregnancy have produced an image-shaping PR bonanza” for Campfield.)
A Psychology Today blog, meanwhile, has joined the Campfield conversation by revisiting his past remarks on AIDs and monkeys and some research on homophobia.
But there are other reports:
Hurley on the Scene
Rep. Julia Hurley provides reports via Stephen Hale. Sample commentary:
“By the way, there’s no Fox News here,” says Julia Hurley, on the phone from her hotel in Tampa, Fla. “There’s no Fox News. I can’t believe it. There is no Fox News in this hotel. I can’t take it. So I finally went to the guy at the front desk and I said ‘What is going to take to find Fox News anywhere?’ I’ve been stuck watching Clinton News Network and MSNBC. I’m ready to just die.”
…”And Bob Corker’s sitting there, all by himself,” she recalls. “Having a bowl of Raisin Bran. He’s just hanging out, by himself, just sitting there. I sad, ‘Bob?’ and he goes ‘Julia?’ And I was like ‘What are you doing here all by yourself?’ and he goes ‘Well, I was hungry.’ “
Blackburn With 328 Words
From Bart Sullivan: U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee says the Republican Party Platform she helped shepherd to completion as a co-chairman is one the delegates should be proud of.
In a 328-word speech to the Republican National Committee Tuesday afternoon, she urged them to read it.
Not Like It Used to Be
Chas Sisk reminiscences about the days when Tennessee was a big part of the national political stage, at national conventions and otherwise, with Howard Baker, Al Gore, Estes Kefauver and Lamar Alexander considered presidential or vice presidential prospects.
The state’s mix of demographics, a social climate considered moderate on racial matters, and an uncanny run of political talent appear to have combined to make Tennessee a breeding ground for politicians with national appeal. Its voters came to be seen as a bellwether of the national race.
…Those conditions may have dissipated. The state now falls solidly in the Republican category, and primary races determined by ideological voters have replaced knock-down, drag-out general election fights between two strong nominees.
The state’s place at the conventions has been diminished, too. At this week’s Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., the state’s moment in the spotlight will not come on Wednesday or Thursday night, when people not from Tennessee accept the presidential and vice presidential nomination. It may have come Tuesday afternoon, when U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn presented the party platform, a short appearance that came before broadcast networks began their convention coverage.
Romney Sons Talk to Tennesseans
From Michael Collins: Two of the five Romney sons — Ben and Craig Romney — shared personal stories Tuesday about Mitt Romney the successful father with Tennessee delegates to the Republican National Convention.
The sons described their father as a dedicated family man who worked hard and worked a lot, but left his job at the office at the end of the day.
Fired Up and Feisty
From Greg Johnson: At her seventh convention, Peggy Lambert of Maryville is as fired up and feisty as at her first.
“I was here when Lincoln formed the (Republican) Party,” Lambert said with a laugh. The national committeewoman for the state of Tennessee attended her first convention in 1980, when Ronald Reagan got the GOP nod.
There Was Even an ‘I Love Chuck Sign’
From Chris Carroll: Like many House freshmen, (U.S. Rep. Chuck) Fleischmann isn’t a delegate and doesn’t have an official speaking role, so he considers himself “a salesman for Chattanooga,” the largest city in the congressional district he represents. At a Tennessee delegation breakfast Monday, he spoke alongside fellow Chattanoogan U.S. Sen. Bob Corker. Later he addressed 100 young adults painting signs for the convention floor.
Known at the convention as “pages,” the young people listened as Fleischmann harkened back to 1980, relating his college days of volunteering for President Ronald Reagan at the University of Illinois. He described that election and this year’s as “change” elections, praising the pages for their civic involvement.
“They even made an ‘I love Chuck’ sign,” Fleischmann said. “They seemed very excited that a member of Congress would come and talk with them.”