Gov. Phil Bredesen got the Democratic memo. He's taking the fatalistic view that nothing the party could have done would have prevented the GOP takeover.
John McCain’s trouncing of Barack Obama in Tennessee was too much for Democrats to overcome, the governor told reporters this afternoon.
“In a lot of these places where we were dealing with these legislative races, the margin was 2 to 1 and worse. I think of someone like Becky Ruppe who I thought ran a great campaign and has a great story. She had counties in her district where McCain had 73 percent of the vote. That’s not a head wind that’s a howling gale blowing at you. Those kinds of things are very tough.”
Asked whether he regrets advising Obama to stay out of Tennessee, Bredesen replied:
“I don’t think it would have made any difference to encourage him to come to Tennessee. He has an extraordinarily disciplined campaign, and I’m confident that he would do what the campaign thought was in the best interest of winning the presidency. … I don’t think I’d be doing him or the country any favor to somehow be stamping my foot and saying, ‘You gotta come here.’
“But no, I don’t regret that. I’m sorry the head wind turned out to be as strong as it was. … I don’t think a visit or two from Obama would have made a huge difference.”
Bredesen was asked whether he personally could have done more to help Democrats:
“I certainly I feel that I did a lot. I’ll be honest, this year as you know … I did not close down the governor’s office and go out and campaign for a month because I had some enormous issues going on with the budget as well, and I do have a day job which I’m responsible for. But I certainly went out and did what the party asked me to do. Given what happened out there, I don’t think anything I could have done could have made much of a difference. It was just such a gale force wind, particularly in those rural counties which is really where most of the changes took place.”