Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tennessee: Great Innovation in the 'Land of Possum Crackle'

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 11:49 AM

click to enlarge beverly-hillbillies.jpg
Dan Neil, an auto writer for the Los Angeles Times, seems puzzled that Tennessee could be home to innovation. In a story about Nissan's development of a battery-powered car with a 100-mile radius, Neil appears absolutely shocked that an advance could come from the Vol State.

You have to savor the irony: Tennessee - land of possum crackle and twangin' guitars - is so resolutely red it couldn't even bring itself to tilt for native son Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election. Barack Obama lost Tennessee by a whopping 400,000 votes in the presidential election of 2008. So, safe to say, dang librels ain't welcome.

And yet, the Volunteer State is quickly becoming a haven for tree-hugging, carbon-hating, electric-car-loving progressives, in part thanks to Nissan.

The piece is even accompanied by the requisite Beverly Hillbillies photo.

It's not all bad. Neil goes on to point out that even the Third World--which includes everything but Los Angeles and its freeways--stumbles into modernity on occasion. He does mention Chattanooga's all-electric bus line.

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