Friday, September 10, 2010

Let's Change the Subject, Clinton Tells Tennessee Democrats

Posted By on Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Bill Clinton was full of helpful advice for Tennessee Democrats at their rally last night. He's got this little alliterative rap that he's using in his speeches around the country: Voters are in the grip of "anger, apathy and amnesia" and that's why they're about to vote Republican in a tidal wave, he says, so Democrats need to change the subject. That's a great idea. Let's talk sports—how about those Titans? Just kidding. Actually, here's Clinton's prescription for Democrats:

“I believe that Mike McWherter will win this race if you, between now and election day, can convince most Tennesseans to change the subject from anger, apathy and amnesia, to the following: What are we going to do now, and who is most likely to do it? If those are the questions, Mike wins. If it is about anger, apathy and amnesia, we’re all toast. And we’ll all pay the price.”

McWherter “is the only candidate that’s actually got a plan" to create jobs and improve the economy, according to Clinton. So all Democrats have to do is tell people about that and—presto!—McWherter wins.

There's only one little problem with that. McWherter doesn't really have a plan. (Actually, there are a couple of problems. He doesn't have a plan and, even if he did, he wouldn't have the money to tell people about it. But don't get me started on his pathetic fund-raising again.)

What exactly is McWherter's message? Who knows? Except for a few nuances on social issues — he's for guns in restaurants that serve alcohol but not for guns in honky-tonks; he's against gay adoption but he wouldn't push legislation to outlaw it — McWherter's stated views are virtually indistinguishable from the state's most conservative Republicans. His only outright proposal has been a vague promise to give unspecified tax breaks to businesses that create an unspecified number of jobs. He won't say how he might pay for that.

McWherter probably should have thought up a few things he might want to do as governor before he started running. He has seemed distracted and laconic throughout his ill-fated campaign. Clinton can't fire up the troops because there's nothing to get excited about.

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