Friday, September 14, 2012

State Democratic Leaders Try New Strategy: Expect Defeat and Hope for the Best

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Chip Forrester admits defeat in advance in bizarre reverse psychology strategy.
  • Chip Forrester admits defeat in advance in bizarre reverse psychology strategy.
You know Tennessee Democrats are in real trouble when they start lowering expectations. If you thought the party had hit rock bottom, its leaders are here to tell you to think again. Unfurling a new political strategy at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, they abandoned the usual blind, bubbly optimism and drew a grim picture for the state delegation, according to The Tennessee Journal.

Another speaker, state House caucus leader Mike Turner (D-Nashville), made no effort to gild the lily, telling the Tennesseans that the twin catastrophes of the 2010 results plus adverse redistricting this year meant that, even in best-case scenarios, Democrats would be at a 3-to-1 disadvantage in the House. Even more explicit was state Democratic chairman Chip Forrester, who said the de facto legislative makeup in the wake of redistricting, with this year’s general election races yet to be run, is 24 Democrats in the state House, out of 99, and 8 in the state Senate, out of 33.

This isn't the first time Forrester has delivered this startling news to the party faithful. He got himself into trouble with Democrats by doing it in The City Paper a few months ago in an interview with Steven Hale. They were upset because they thought it meant Forrester was writing off a bunch of Democratic candidates as losers in November — all of them, in fact, except the few remaining incumbents. Even House Democratic leader Craig Fitzhugh didn't like it. Forrester insisted he was merely explaining the lay of the political landscape after redistricting. It sounds to Pith like he's also engaging in a little CYOA so as not to appear like a colossal failure on the day after the election. We don't think it's going to work.

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