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House Democratic leader Gary Odom, who would normally break an arm to jump in front of a camera, failed to show today for his party caucus' weekly news conference. He had an appointment that he just had to keep, his top minion, Skip Cauthorn, told the press. Meanwhile, Democrats who did attend wouldn't comment on Odom's travails within the caucus. "We've said all we're going to say about that," caucus chair Mike Turner said. Turner did say that he notified Odom of the time of the press conference. "Why wouldn't I?" Turner asked. "Don't answer that."
Yesterday, Turner and Rep. John Litz met with reporters without Odom's knowledge to contradict Odom's comments to the Memphis Flyer
last week. Odom said former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh was out to lunch while Odom himself orchestrated the ascension of Kent Williams to the speaker's office. He also blamed Naifeh for the party's election defeats dating all the way back to Al Gore's loss of Tennessee in the 2000 presidential race.
In his only public comments on the controversy, Odom told The Tennessean
yesterday that, after yapping about it virtually nonstop for nearly two months, he's suddenly decided that debating who did what with Williams is "a pointless discussion." Also, he sees the whole affair as "a bit bizarre."
: Another Naifeh-Odom dispute at Humphrey on the Hill.