In an uncharacteristically direct response to questioning, Gov. Bill Haslam says there's no — literally, "zero" — truth to rumors that he would consider a run for the White House in 2016. He says there are "at least 20 people who'd be better" at the job, giving drinking journos and bored political junkies a new parlor game — who are the 20 people ahead of Bill Haslam on Bill Haslam's list of potential presidents?
The last couple weeks have been something of a national coming-out party for our Tennessean-in-Chief, with Politico deeming him "the GOP star you've never heard of" in a glowing profile last month, and sharing his comments about the future of the party a few days later.
For what it's worth — and I'll admit, I'm not sure what it's worth — I once had a Republican staffer, one who I'd say might know, tell me the Haslam family's goal was to make Bill president. In any case, presidential politics is often like NASCAR — whoever's leading this early is likely to end up in the wall. If the governor does want to be president, it would make good sense to let off the gas while we're still over three years out. If he doesn't want the job, perhaps one of the 20 more qualified candidates will look his way for the No. 2 spot?