An ‘oops’ and other TN doings at GOP convention

A transcript of state Sen. Mae Beavers, chair of Tennessee’s delegation to the Republican National Convention, in casting the state’s presidential delegate votes on Tuesday, as reported by The Tennessean.

“Madame secretary, the Volunteer state, the state with no income tax, a budget surplus, and a balanced budget. A state that is in the top five for jobs growth, number one in auto-manufacturing, with a Republican Governor, Two Republican US Senators, seven Republican congressmen, and a two-thirds majority in the state house and state senate.

“Our pro-life state, proudly casts our votes: 16 votes for Senator Ted Cruz, 19 votes for Senator Marco Rubio, and 33 votes to ‘Make America Great Again’ with Donald J Trump.”

Actually, the Rubio total was wrong. He had nine Tennessee delegates; not 19. … The leaders of the convention’s roll call process asked the Tennessee delegation to repeat their votes and Beavers read the correct totals the second time around.

Haslam, Corker commentary
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday he believes Republicans largely will coalesce around Donald Trumpt when faced with a “binary choice” between the billionaire former reality star when faced with a “binary choice” between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

But, Corker added, “I think independent voters, as they always do, will make a big difference here,” according to the Times-Free Press.

“I think to the extent that Trump can be humanized, I think to the extent he can to lay out more concrete policies and [create] a vision for the future and a positive vision for the future, it’s very important,” Corker said.

The senator’s comments came on the second day of the four-day convention in Cleveland, Ohio…. He said much of the contest with Clinton so far has “been about [being], against the other side, that’s unfortunate. It’s just where our country is right now…. “I think that an important element is making the case for why people should vote for you and what the country will be like if you’re elected and those things that you put in place that affect people on an everyday basis.”

Gov. Bill Haslam is similarly quoted in The Tennessean:

“Here’s my fear: whoever wins on that Wednesday morning in November, I’m afraid they’re going to go into office, at that point and time, the most unpopular newly elected president in history,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.

“And we live in a divided country, you’re going to have an unpopular elected president. That person’s going to have to figure out how to have a message that pulls people out of where we are now.”

…”If you look at the electoral college, it’s an uphill battle for Republicans. And so if all we’re doing is talking about here’s what’s wrong, I don’t think we’ll climb over the hill and win those states which we haven’t won in you know, the last 12 years,” Haslam said.

“I think it’ll be a big challenge for the Republicans to say in a world that people feel like has gone mad, here are the positive answers we think we can provide.”

Ashe observations
In his “Delegate Diary,” former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe notes that convention sessions are held in the evenings, leaving the day free for social events that are — in his opinion — more interesting than the floor gatherings.

On Tuesday, there was a boat cruise on Lake Erie, he reports.

On Wednesday, there is a luncheon at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland honoring the Tennessee congressional delegation. Gov. Bill Haslam, a delegate, will be attending a luncheon at his brother Jimmy’s home for the Republican Governors Association on Wednesday. Gov. Haslam is past chair of the RGA.

Because of past associations and networking I was fortunate to be invited to various groups that are hosting events outside of the RNC convention activities, such as The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the International Republican Institute and the Bipartisan Coalition.

…On Monday morning, I chaired a panel on Europe and trans-Atlantic relations for visiting foreign ambassadors in Cleveland. The event was sponsored by the Heritage Foundation… Several ambassadors asked for names of people who might impact foreign policy under Trump. To be honest, the panelists could only guess and speculate with the name of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee being the three names mentioned for secretary of state.

Later in the day, I attended a high-powered meeting sponsored by the International Republican Institute, where Cotton and fellow U.S. Sens. David Perdue of Georgia and Joni Ernst of Iowa spoke. House Speaker Paul Ryan wrapped up the session with a strong outline of House GOP policy positions on military, veterans, jobs, foreign policy and infrastructure.

He criticized President Barack Obama “for filling the world with questions. Allies are not sure they can trust us. The House GOP will show what a good foreign policy can mean. There is no substitute for leadership.” Ryan said. Interestingly, in his 12 minutes of remarks he did not mention Donald Trump once.