“I feel good about where I am in this,” he said. “We were planning to marshal our assets and then really put the full-court press on in October and that’s what we’re getting ready to do, and we’ve got the resources to do it.”
“I think right now I’m behind but I think there’s every possibility that Bill Haslam has peaked at this point in time, and timing is everything in politics. If you peak too early, there’s no where to go but down. I feel very good about where we are. I think we’re going to be on the move from this point forward.”
Q: How important are the debates tomorrow and Saturday?
McWherter: I think they’re very important. But I know a lot of people who watch these debates are what you’d call political insiders. Where they are most important is the talk that gets generated the next morning around the water cooler by that person who did watch the debate and formed an opinion. But I hope they are widely viewed. I know that Channel 4 is not carrying the debate here in Middle Tennessee, and I hate that because I think it would be good for Middle Tennessee voters to see our different positions, but they’ve chosen not to carry it.
Note: In Nashville, the debate will air starting at 7 tomorrow night on WTVF’s 5+ cable channel.
Q: Speaking of TV ads, do you think Bill Haslam deserves any credit for the development of the West Tennessee industrial megasite?
McWherter: I didn’t know there were many Mugwumps or Whigs left in West Tennessee. I think Governor Bredesen and his administration deserve the lion’s share of credit on that. I’m not aware of Bill Haslam’s involvement at all. I know I talked with my state senator and my state representative. Haywood County is adjacent to my home county and I’ve been very familiar with the development of that site. I have spoken with my local elected officials many times about that. Frankly, it was the Republican leadership in the Senate that tried to kill that. It’s only because Governor Bredesen basically called them stupid and called them out on that issue that they put that back in once they realized what they had done. I wasn’t aware that Bill Haslam had anything to do with that.
Q: What are your ads about?
McWherter: Me. I want you to be surprised. That way I’ll get two stories out of it.
Update: "We feel very good about where are right now, but we're not going to let up," Haslam responded when informed of McWherter's remarks.