On Monday, McWherter continued to hammer Haslam about being a poor businessman and Haslam continued to act pissy about it. McWherter brought up Haslam's time as the Chair of the Board of Harold's, which filed bankruptcy at the end of his tenure and he hit Haslam again with charges of Pilot's price-gouging.
Haslam's tone-deaf response was, "Does he want Pilot to not be in Tennessee? Because that's what he's acting like."
I realize Haslam's never been poor, so allow me a bit of free advice: Regular people do not particularly care to be told that they must accept a certain level of abuse from you, or you will take away from them things they need. That doesn't make you sound like a good guy. That makes you sound like an asshole.
But that is not what made me think McWherter might have a point.
No, that came in this post, when Dru Fuller reported:
"As someone who is pro-life, Planned Parenthood has a definitively different mission. They would not be somewhere that I support giving dollars to. That's not where I am going to choose to spend state dollars," Haslam, a Republican, told reporters following a Monday appearance at the Tennessee Women's Economic Summit.
I know, blustering about how you're going to make sure that life is as difficult on sluts and their healthcare collaborators as possible is very popular. But here's the thing: They tried to pass legislation that would accomplish this last year and it failed — in part because the state health department wasn't capable of administering the family planning services Planned Parenthood provides. They were too busy.
The financial situation in the state will be just as dire, if not more, when Haslam takes office. There will be fewer state employees than there were in 2009. And Haslam is talking about further cuts.
So for the sake of simplicity, let's say the state health department has 10 employees under normal conditions and they had to cut 10 percent two years ago. So there were nine people on staff when the legislature had to admit that there weren't enough people in the health department to administer the programs Planned Parenthood currently does. And then we cut another person in the department last year. Now they're down to eight.
If nine people were too few to administer the additional programs, how is eight enough?
Does Haslam understand basic math or basic business principles? If a certain number of people can't do a job, even fewer people even more certainly cannot do that job.
If Haslam wants voters to believe he knows how to turn the state around, he needs to take some personal responsibility and get a better grasp on the issues on which he's trying to grandstand. That way, he can display a little of this business acumen he claims to have.