Notes on TN Democrats headed to convention (mayors prominent)

From a News Sentinel pre-convention story:

“We’re going to be the grown-ups that have a helpful and optimistic message for America, versus the slander and negative campaign that we saw this week for the Republicans,” Knox County Democratic Party Chairman Cameron Brooks said Thursday. “We are much more unified than they are right now.”

… In contrast to Trump’s acceptance speech, which portrayed a country with porous borders beset by enemies worldwide, Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, a delegate for presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, said she hopes to hear language of a more palliative, uplifting nature from Democrats this week.

“We all have to tone down the rhetoric,” Rogero said. “We have to talk about issues where a nonpartisan mayor or partisan state-level and federal-level people, can work together to get the job done.”

She said she hopes to hear constructive voices.

“Try to use language that doesn’t intimidate or upset,” she said. “We should try to frame issues in a way that avoids conflict. … What’s the common goal or the common interest? … I think you can accomplish much more when you share the common language and common goals.”

… Another Clinton delegate from Knoxville, Paul Witt… compared the GOP convention to a car wreck.

“It’s been a mess, which is great,” he said. “I think our side will be more unified around (Clinton) than the Republicans will be around Trump.”

Mayors in the lead

The Tennessean observes that four Democratic mayors will be delegates to the Democratic National Convention – Rogero, Nashville’s Megan Barry, Chattanooga’s Andy Berke and Clarksville’s Kim McMillan – that this shows the prominence and importance of big city mayors in party politics now that they are in minority status. (Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is a Democrat but not attending the convention.)

Barry, who introduced presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during two Clinton campaign stops in Nashville during the primary, will be in Philadelphia for the entire four-day event. She said Clinton “gets the impact” that cities contribute to the nation’s economy and would be an ally on efforts she wants to accomplish in Nashville.

“My hope is that we’ll continue to have the same type of relationship with her that we’ve had with Obama’s administration on infrastructure and transit and other things,” said Barry, a Clinton delegate.

… As Democrats look for a candidate who can compete for an open governor’s race and U.S. Senate in 2018, eyes turn first to two men who came from the mayoral ranks – former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Berke. Dean has been open about a run and has attended speaking engagements across the state to increase his political network. Berke has said he’s focused on only being mayor for now.