Here's the problem with Barack Obama's election. Now, all over the country every two-bit politician with an outsized ego (not a small number of people) is thinking, "Hey, only a year ago, people were saying, 'Barack who?' Lightning can strike for me too! By God, I'm running for something."
And so we have Bill Haslam, Zach Wamp and Bill Gibbons running for governor 22 months before the election, and Marsha Blackburn, Ron Ramsey, Beth Harwell, Doug Horne, Harold Ford Jr., Lincoln Davis, Roy Herron, Andy Berke, Kim McMillan, Matt Kisber, Jim Kyle, Mike McWherter, Ward Cammack, Kenneth Eaton, John Jay Hooker, Rooster Cogburn, and maybe even Stuart Brunson all thinking about running. Not that many of these people really have much chance to win.
The chump du jour is Gibbons, a white-haired prosecutor from Memphis who appeared before Nashville's TV cameras to say he wants to do big things as governor and he'll make sure to tell us what those things are as his fabulous campaign unfolds in the coming months.
"It's easy for us to engage in a lot of vague rhetoric but I think voters deserve to know specifically what we'd do if we're elected governor," he declared.
Gibbons must have talked for close to 10 minutes, giving variants of the above sentence. When he finished, your correspondent tried to liven things up a little by inviting Gibbons to attack Haslam for his essentially clueless performance before Nashville's media earlier in the week. (For instance, Haslam didn't know what he thinks about the Republican anti-abortion amendment that's only probably the GOP's No. 1 priority in the legislature this year.) But Gibbons wouldn't bite. He wouldn't criticize Haslam for belonging to Michael Bloomberg's gun control group, either. Guess Gibbons was afraid he'd step on his message for the day, such as it was. We're thinking he's not going to get too many more chances to make news.