click to enlarge
While Republican Bill Haslam was raking in an impressive $1.4 million
today for his campaign for governor, Democrats lost a potentially strong candidate of their own. Congressman Lincoln Davis represented, in fact, perhaps the Democrats' best shot at winning the office in 2010. But tonight, he said in a statement
that he wouldn't run. As his only reason, he cited his appointment to the important House Appropriations Committee, calling it "an opportunity for the district I represent that I could not easily turn away from."
The timing of the announcement, if not Davis' decision, comes as a
surprise. Most observers thought he wouldn't make up his mind until
early this summer after gauging the political climate at that time. It
means the congressman, who is 65, is likely giving up his ambitions to
hold statewide office.
This news will please many Democratic insiders. Davis isn't known as the sharpest knife. His
nickname among reporters is Foghorn Leghorn because, like the Looney Tunes character, he talks a mile a
minute and never says a thing. He's also too conservative for many in his party.
barring the unlikely entrance of Harold Ford Jr. into the contest,
Democrats are left without a big name to run for governor. Who else is
on the list of possible candidates? Kim McMillan, Roy Herron, Andy
Berke, Doug Horne, Matt Kisber, Mike McWherter--all are basically
unknown lightweights. The pressure on Ford to run just went up
exponentially.Update: Kleinheider cites
"the handover of his own party to a radical band of Obama activists in
stark rebuke of his wishes" as one possible factor in Davis' decision.
Can Democrats blame (or thank) Chip Forrester for this?