2010 Tennessee General Election Predictions

2 November 2010

Just shortly before I took a job covering Tennessee politics in 2006, a very wise man, sensing I was more a follower of national rather than state politics, warned me about the unique and exceptional nature of Tennessee politics.

Tennessee is not “red” or “blue,” he explained, but a strong shade of purple. He emphasized how independent the state was and how resistant it was to national trends. He spoke of how Tennessee had a tradition of conservative Democrats, often from the rural West, as well as moderate Republicans, often from the mountain East.

When analyzing Tennessee politics, he warned, do not attempt to “DC-ize” the state and its landscape. It is a very different animal — far less partisan and predictable than the nation at-large.

Good advice — at the time. Would it still be? I wonder. Especially, if the below is anywhere close to true.

Governor Bill Haslam Not only does Mike Wherter not cut a very impressive figure as a candidate, he has been outspent, out-messaged, out-maneuvered and outworked. Just two and a half years ago, McWherter bowed out of the race to challenge Lamar Alexander for fear, among other things, of getting beat so embarrassingly that his political career would be over before it started. The bullet that McWherter dodged in 2008 will hit him with full force today.

Haslam has not just sowed up his base and the center. He has also made strong inroads with those who will vote Democratic elsewhere on the ballot. The only saving grace for McWherter is that Haslam’s recent missteps on guns might have pushed back a few Democrats who were toying with the idea of voting for Haslam. While it is possible that McWherter wins a county or two (Shelby, Weakley, Haywood and Houston are candidates), I say Haslam runs the table winning all 95 counties and keeps McWherter well under the 40% mark. Haslam 65%-34%.

TN-04 Scott DesJarlais I can’t spell his name right without looking it up but, come January, I think Scott DesJarlais is going to be a Tennessee congressman. The fact that this race is even close speaks to what kind of year this is going to be for Republicans. Lincoln Davis is just about as conservative as you can be these days and still be a Democrat. He is NRA-endorsed, God-fearing and votes against his party when it could damage him back home. In other words, Davis has done everything “right.”

Unfortunately, no one cares about all that. The electorate is looking to turn out incumbents and Lincoln Davis was simply caught flat-footed. He failed to keep his warchest adequately stocked and didn’t really see Scott DesJarlais coming until the political novice was ahead of him. At that point, the national GOP money came in and kept the boot on his neck until election day.

Davis mounted a spirited campaign at the end but his barrage of negative ads was seen by some as desperate and may have actually raised the profile of his opponent. I think it will be very close, within a percentage point or two, but Lincoln Davis is going down — and with him the rural base of the old Tennessee Democratic Party.

TN-08, etc. If Lincoln Davis is at risk, Roy Herron doesn’t have a chance. The preacher/lawyer/politician goes down 53%-45% to Stephen Fincher. Brett Carter falls to Diane Black by far worse.

In TN-05, David Hall will receive a surprising number of votes pushing his percentage deeper into the 40s than it should be, but Jim Cooper will come through 56%-43%. Rep. Steve Cohen will also prevail comfortably although his opponent will combine race and tea party sentiment into a nice little percentage.

Tennessee House Republicans pick up six Early on, I thought some observers were not taking the prospect of a second term Kent Williams speakership seriously. Williams had done an adequate job in the role and successfully got his deputy, Scotty Campbell, elected to the House in his own right. Along with Rep. Dale Ford and possibly a few others, Williams could have conceivably added four or more votes to whatever the Democrats could muster and hold on to the speakership.

While definitely an exciting scenario from a spectator sport perspective, it depends on the party breakdown straying not too far from the status quo. It will. Republicans will take all the “leaners” and most of the tossups. I think first term incumbent Republican Terri Lynn Weaver actually does lose her seat while Rep. Ty Cobb (D-Columbia) keeps his. However, the rest of the contested races are going to go very badly for the Democrats. Jim Gotto will join Beth Harwell as a Republican representing Davidson County and incumbent Democrats Fraley, Barker and Coleman will lose. At the end of the day, the chamber will have 56 Republicans, 42 Democrats and one independent.

The Speaker Glen Casada With the kind of margin I’m seeing, Kent Williams has no chance to cobble together a majority. There will be many candidates amongst the Republicans (there already are) but, when everything shakes out, there will be only two. Beth Harwell has given out a lot of money and will likely be the new governor’s candidate (at least privately) but Glen Casada has banked more favors and has more friends that matter. Barring a serious misstep or scandal, Casada is the Speaker for the foreseeable future.

Tennessee Senate Republicans pick up one George McDonald is a great candidate and well-suited to his district. As Sean Braisted has said, in any other year, his rural populist Democrat campaign against Mae Beavers might have been interesting. This, however, is not that year. The final tally will be far closer than it should be for Beavers — but she will hold her seat.

Senate Democratic Caucus chair Lowe Finney will not be so lucky. Don McLeary had recently switched parties from Democrat to Republican when he lost to Finney in 2006. Democrats focused much of their attention on defeating him on general principle. Finney also had the benefit of a strong Democratic current nationally and Harold Ford, Jr. and Phil Bredesen were atop his ticket. This year Finney is carrying Mike McWherter and Barack Obama on his back through a tough conservative district. I say he loses narrowly giving the state Senate an even 20 Republicans and 13 Democrats.

2010 Tennessee Primary Election Predictions

5 August 2010

I haven’t been as immersed in Tennessee politics these last few months as I was back in the day. But being that today is election day and since a few folks have solicited my opinion, I thought I go ahead and share with the rest of the class.

These are not endorsements, mind you. Just predictions of what I think our political world will look like seven hours or so from now.

Governor Republican Bill Haslam — It says something about the state of our politics that many observers could have (and did) make this prediction accurately in January ‘09. More than two years ago, Haslam made it fairly clear to those paying close attention that he intended to run for governor if former Sen. Bill Frist didn’t. With his executive experience, money and influence within the Republican Party’s upper echelon, he was deemed the favourite from the outset. Not much as changed.

Haslam was able to lock up the big money early. His team defined their candidate through a series of well-done, if substantively empty, television ads and the other contenders had neither the resources nor the ammunition to knock the Haslam train off the rails.

The only surprise in the race has been how little Haslam has pandered to Tennessee’s increasingly conservative Republican primary electorate. Sure, Haslam has checked the right boxes on surveys and said the right things on the stump — but not in any forceful or dramatic fashion. In 2006, Bob Corker seemed to constantly and consistently genuflect at the altar of ideological conservatism to prove his bona fides against Van Hilleary and Ed Bryant. Haslam just hasn’t against Ramsey and Wamp and, for whatever reason, it hasn’t hurt him that much.

Like 2006, the conservatives are split. Wamp will take the majority of the evangelical “Huckabee” vote while Ramsey will snag those who are more concerned with the size and scope of government AKA “The Tea Party” crowd. Each candidate seems to have a fatal flaw in capturing the voters of the other. Ramsey’s inability to speak about his faith in the same effusive manner as Wamp has cost him opportunities with fundamentalist Christians just as Wamp’s vote for TARP has cost him with the fiscal and constitutional conservatives.

With the Right well-divided, Haslam should cruise to victory. He’ll fall short of Corker’s 48% in ‘06 — but not by much. Wamp and Ramsey will split the rest more or less evenly while YouTube sensation Basil Marceaux will not clear 2% in the polls.

TN-05 Republican CeCe Heil — The chance of any of the 11 candidates in this race ending up beating Rep. Jim Cooper in the fall are slim-to-none. Yes, the district consists of conservative parts of Davidson County one does not think of a “Nashville” like Goodletsville, Madison, and Joelton as well as Republican enclaves in Wilson and Cheatham counties. But, the fact is that Jim Cooper is a moderate Democrat and well-suited to the district. Cooper went down in defeat to Fred Thompson in the ‘94 Senate race during a similar national conservative wave. He knows what to look for and he’s not likely to lose again.

That said, someone has to be the sacrificial lamb and my bet is CeCe Heil. The smart money, from what I can tell, is still on Jeff Hartline who has run a professional campaign (minus a few misteps) with the help of his son, Wes, and Bill Hobbs. However, in a sea of conservative men, CeCe stands out. She has got the evangelical thing happening for her as well as the blessing of Sarah Palin. Her campaign got a late start but in this messy field I think, deservedly or not, Heil will attract a slim plurality.

TN-03 Republican Robin Smith — While elements of the Tim Gobble and Van Irion campaigns have been interesting, this is clearly a two (wo)man race. Robin Smith has the grassroots and the respect of the party faithful for presiding over the Republican takeover of the state legislature and Chuck Fleischmann has a bank account and one very motivated general consultant. Chip Saltsman is good, but not that good. With a better proxy, it might have been different. Robin Smith takes this relatively easily.

TN-06 Republican Lou Ann Zelenik — While I’m as big a Passenger 57 fan as the next guy, this time I’m not betting on Black. The conventional wisdom still has state Sen. Diane Black as the favorite but Zelenik has clearly closed the gap evidenced by Black’s full blown television and direct mail assault on the tea party favorite.

While in the Governor’s race you have two conservatives splitting the vote leaving the plurality to a moderate, in this race what you have is two insiders splitting the vote and giving the prize to an “outsider.”

Just two years removed from an embarrassing loss to Rep. Joe Carr in ’08, Zelenik has learned some lessons and polished her game. She has done everything in her power to become the quintessential Palinite tea party candidate — and she has succeeded.

I have stopped in at a few political picnics and rallies this summer and one thing is clear: prospective mosque constructions both in Murfreesboro and at Ground Zero have rekindled the post 9/11 bloodlust of the Republican base in a big way. Lou Ann Zelenik got out in front of this anti-Muslim wave early and left her opponents flat-footed.

George Wallace (at the time a racial moderate) famously said after losing a race early in his career to a rabid segregationist that he was “out-n***ered.” Zelenik has done something similar to her opponents in this campaign and she will reap the “benefits” today.

Also, I have not bought the conventional wisdom that Jim Tracy campaign is dead in the water. He’ll do better than expected — but it won’t be enough. This will be a very close three-way race, but I think Zelenik takes it.

TN-08 Republican Ron Kirkland — This one has been a doozy and I’m not even sure who the favorite is according to the “insiders.” Flinn has spent a boatload of money but at the end of the day he is still a rich guy from Memphis running in a predominately rural district. I don’t see how you overcome that. Stephen Fincher’s star was on the rise back when he was the great Republican hope against John Tanner but Flinn, Kirkland and Kirkland’s brother’s IE campaign has slowly chipped away at that Frog Jump shine. Kirkland (and his bro) take this one.

TN-09 Democrat Steve Cohen — One day a charismatic, serious and qualified Black candidate will come along, exploit the racial makeup of the district and take this seat away from Rep. Steve Cohen. However, that day is not today. Cohen by a good margin — although less than it should be.

Senate 21 Democrat Jeff Yarbro — The young progressive leader has done the work and cobbled together a coalition comprised of grassroots activists, establishment operators and even a few Republicans. Had Jim Kyle stayed in the governor’s race, the result might be different. Unfortunately for Sen. Douglas Henry, the active Republican race for governor has ensured that much of his base will be MIA in the primary. My bet is tomorrow the Republican Party will have wished they had recruited a candidate for this race. Yarbro wins.

Senate 21 Republican Steve Dickerson — Not really sure about this one. Apparently, the Ron Paul crew as well as the establishment are behind Dickerson despite the fact that Chesser is a former county Libertarian party chair and a more interesting candidate. Going with the conventional wisdom but perplexed by it.

Senate 07 Republican Stacey Campfield — He doesn’t raise much money but he works like hell. If Rep. Stacey Campfield’s moderate and establishment opposition had united behind one candidate he would have been in trouble. But it doesn’t look like they did. Four more years of Campfield.

Senate 17 Republican Mae Beavers — Susan Lynn got a raw deal when Sen. Mae Beavers decided at the eleventh hour to abandon her bid for Wilson County Mayor and run for re-election to her seat. A lesser woman than Lynn would have tucked tail and ran back to her house seat and run for re-election instead. Susan Lynn didn’t do that and for that she should be remembered. Lynn will do very well but ultimately she will come up short. Incumbency is incumbency. To beat an incumbent, you have to have a reason you can sell. Lynn has a good reason but it isn’t one easily peddled. The Beav takes it.

Senate 17 Democrat George McDonald — All but forgotten admid the blood feud on the other side of the aisle, this contest actually has three very interesting and very legitimate candidates. Sam Hatcher, a newspaper publisher, is the favorite among establishment types and probably the “smart money” favorite to win. Aubrey Givens, who speaks very enthusiastically and fashions himself a champion of the downtrodden, ran against Bob Rochelle in the 2006 primary and carries the name recognition from that race with him. The third candidate is George McDonald, an accomplished farmer well-known in the six less cosmopolitan counties of the district.

I’m flying more or less blind on this one but I’m gonna say McDonald squeaks by. He’ll lose Wilson County (possibly coming in third) but he’ll make up the difference in the rural counties and, in the process, give the Democratic Party at least an outside shot at victory in November.

Liberadio(!) Duo Calls It Quits

3 June 2010

One of Nashville’s more celebrated alternative news sources has decided to call it quits. Liberadio(!) with Mary Mancini and Freddie O’Connell, which has been broadcast on 91.1 WRVU Monday mornings since 2004, wrapped it’s final episode on May 17. The hosts say the final decision was made over the Memorial Day weekend. The reason: time.

“We’ve done the show as an almost entirely volunteer hobby without more than an occasional break for nearly six years, usually while both of us were working full-time,” said O’Connell. “Having half a weekend and brutal Monday mornings to kick off a full work week is exhausting.”

With the bold mission of “liberating radio from the Right,” hosts O’Connell and Mancini sought to provide a counterbalance to what they saw as a decidedly rightward tilt to over-the-air radio in Nashville. Although mostly a labor of love throughout its tenure, Mancini and O’Connell did attempt to expand and make their project commercially viable.

The duo did a 13-week experimental stint on WAMB-AM and WNSG-AM in the spring of 2007 buying time out of their own pockets and selling ads for their shows, acting as their own salesforce. The foray into commercialism was ultimately unsustainable as the hosts struggled to handle the business side of the project while maintaining the quality of the show.

“We knew we couldn’t continue doing the show and sales beyond the pilot period, or the product would suffer,” explained Mancini. “We never found either a station or salesperson who was willing to partner with us for a more sustainable experiment.”

Liberadio(!) has been able to stay on the air through the generosity of Vanderbilt University’s community DJ project. The university has for years offered an ever dwindling number of on-air spots on its station to members of the community not otherwise affiliated with the university. Mancini and O’Connell were thus able to build up their brand and provide a service to the community at a limited cost to them.

“We operated a popular blog, added a podcast, and even a live video stream, so we definitely achieved our goals of bootstrapping with low overhead for maximum impact,” said O’Connell. “But you can’t start a 10,000-watt radio station in your garage quite so easily.”

Despite failing to reach a broader commercial audience, Liberadio(!) never failed to be honored by their community and recognized for the high news content of their show. O’Connell and Mancini were recognized three times in the Nashville Scene’s Readers Poll and twice consecutively by Talkers magazine as one of their “Frontier Fifty,” a list highlighting talk hosts doing pioneering work on the web.

The show also had an impact in political terms having received, on more than one occasion, requests by candidates for their endorsement.

“We were frequently asked whether we would be endorsing in given races or whether we would sponsor various issue debates,” said Mancini. “We heard several voters tell us they had voted the Liberadio(!) ticket.”

The Liberadio(!) brand also made waves in the national media; the most recent being in February of 2009 when Congressman Jim Cooper seemed to indicate during an interview that he had been granted permission by President Obama to vote against a health care bill being pushed by the administration in order to make it “cleaner.” Cooper subsequently walked back the remarks once they began to get wider circulation. The episode led the hosts to ask almost every subsequent guest to finish the sentence, “I shouldn’t be telling you this, but…”

Despite having the opportunity to interview candidates, elected leaders and public intellectuals what the hosts most enjoyed was interacting with the audience.

“We had the best and smartest listeners in the world,” said the hosts. “[W]e loved hearing from them on all kinds of topics.”

Asked what the Liberadio(!) legacy will be, the hosts answered with their characteristic wit and modesty.

“Launching the career of Stephen Colbert. Didn’t we do that? Oh, who knows. Maybe someday we’ll have our own Wikipedia page.”

Freddie O’Connell, a native Nashvillian, is a graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy and Brown University and currently runs SearchViz, a boutique inbound marketing and web design firm. A longtime political and community activist. O’Connell currently serves as president of the Salemtown Neighborhood Association and on the board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority. In 2002, O’Connell ran as an independent against then-TNGOP chairwoman and state Rep. Beth Harwell.

Mary Mancini, best known as the owner and proprietor on the now defunct Lucy’s Record Shop, has served on the board of various political and community groups including the Tennessee Alliance for Progress. On Monday, she will start work as Tennessee Citizen Action’s Executive Director.

They Aren’t Nashville

10 May 2010

I’m often asked from folks both from within the city and those from afar why I live in Nashville. I didn’t grow up here. I have no family connections to the place. I moved here to go to college. But I never left. Why I never left is not something I’ve ever been able to verbalize. I still can’t, but I can point to the events of this past week as a shining example of why, when people ask we whether I am looking to relocate to find employment, I tell them no.

When the interstates became impassable and the buildings started floating down Briley Parkway, many Nashvillians wondered where the national media was. One couldn’t log in to Twitter or Facebook or peruse a local blog without witnessing the complaints.

“While everyone in Nashville began to wonder why CNN, Fox, et al, were ignoring them, they didn’t really stop to actually care,” Rex Hammock said of the media black out of the first few days. “They were too busy out helping their neighbors.”

Now I don’t completely agree with Hammock. People certainly did care. But he is right that the griping did not become paralyzing or all consuming. We still did what we needed to — whether media or the government were coming to our rescue or not.

The beautiful thing about the times we live in is that while we were complaining about the lack of attention, we were out proving that we didn’t really need the national media to get the word out. Maybe the noisemakers on cable TV didn’t hop-to in the fashion they should have, but it wasn’t like information on the floods was unavailable. Citizen reports were beamed out through social networks and blogs as they were happening, and they were filtering out to the nation, frankly, even before some local media outlets were really working at full speed.

But still some wanted validation by the national media, and it was not forthcoming. Some asserted the reason was two other simultaneous news events happening that weekend. And it is true, a bomb scare in New York as well as as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico did suck some of the air out of the national newsroom. But, as Betsy Phillips pointed out, it was not as if the cable stations were carrying news of these events non-stop. There was sufficient airtime. So obviously there was something else going on here.

The list of possible explanations of why national media outlets didn’t cover the Nashville Flood until they were essentially shamed into doing so have been legion. Phillips posits that it was the lack of a news “hook” that the flood simply did not offer as exciting a narrative or provide sufficiently explosive political implications. This explanation has merit and was likely part of the equation. However, Jim Reams comes closer.

“It’s true that we aren’t entirely like some of you,” Reams explains. “We hold the door open for old ladies and say thank you to the cashier and get called “hon” by the waitress at the Waffle House. We say “y’all” and “all y’all” and we eat grits and biscuits. And here’s another thing, we’re quick to help people, but we’re also quick to mind our own business.”

In the film the Last of the Mohicans (1992), Daniel Day Lewis’s character explains that his Native American father has little patience for the white man “because they are a breed apart and make no sense.” While we should strive to avoid overt politics when discussing this disaster, culture is something that simply can’t be avoided.

As much as we like to think that people are people and that any community, if their backs were against the wall, would come together as we did — I’m not so sure. We’ve seen other cities face crises both bigger and smaller than ours and not acquit themselves nearly as well. We are different.

No, we do not fit the stereotypes that many across of the country have of us. We are not, as Reams reminds us, all wearing cowboy hats and working in the music business. We are not all hicks and rednecks (not that there is anything wrong with being either). We are a diverse community like any other major U.S. city.

But the media elite don’t see us as we are.

They ignored us because even though this city voted for Barack Obama in just as great a percentage as any New Jersey suburb, Nashville represents Middle America to them. We aren’t L.A. or New York. We don’t have the party appeal of New Orleans. We are Nashville. The country music capital. To many in New York, L.A. and D.C., we might as well be the cracker capital. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a conscious dislike. It’s not heat. To them, we are simply uninteresting and unimportant. We are dispensable.

On Sept. 11, 2001, when those towers fell and all those New Yorkers died, Middle America, Nashville included, wept. Even though, a large number of those who lived and worked in Manhattan had very little in common with many who work and live in and around Nashville, we all became New Yorkers that day. But when Nashville was hurting, the media elite, many of them based in New York, were MIA.

Of course, the analogy is imperfect to say the least. We did not experience a terrorist attack. But, while it did not carry boxcutters and hijack an airplane, that water was an enemy nonetheless and a worthy adversary as the destruction in Bellevue and elsewhere makes clear. The water took much from us but we took it in stride and acted accordingly. I can’t help but notice that while we were Nashville in that moment, they in New York were not.

If they did not notice when we took on more water than we had in generations, would they notice if something much worse happened? Would America have become Nashville, as America became New York on 9/11. Would they rally behind us as we did them? I can’t help but assume that the answer would be no.

Blake Wylie tweeted during the disaster that Nashville would be a better city after the flood was all said and done. It’s a nice sentiment but not true. The flood didn’t change Nashville. Nashville was the same city before the flood as it will be after the last FEMA check is cashed. This is not to belittle the city’s response but to praise it. What happened was something to behold. But it is hardly surprising to those who know the city. What happened, instead of the chaos, looting and finger pointing that would happen elsewhere, is why I am here — and why I’m not leaving.

I’m here because we are Nashville but I’m also here because they are not.

Practioner Of New Media

15 April 2010

Jackson Baker asked me to write something about my experience as a pro-blogger and the future of news aggregation. This is what I came up with.

sACKed

3 April 2010

I have now been fired from two media jobs in Nashville.

On Monday, SouthComm Communications told me that due to budget cutbacks, my services were no longer needed. On a Friday in March 2008, WKRN, the ABC affiliate here in Nashville also let me go.

As a connoisseur of such things, I must say I far prefer the Friday sacking to the Monday termination.

Don’t get me wrong – both times were painful and jarring. But the job at WKRN was a dream job, a job I never imagined being considered for or getting. So while it stung to be shown the door, it was something I was prepared for one way or another. By the time I got home, got my bearings and submitted my final post — it was Friday night. The weekend gave me time to calmly confront the future with a two-day buffer until the start of the work week I would not be participating in.

This time it was different. Sure, media companies are contracting all over and nothing is forever but, suffice it to say, I didn’t expect them to come for me. In many ways, now five days out, I don’t feel I have my wind back yet and am looking forward to catching up to it in the next few days.

The powers that be at SouthComm elected not to allow me a farewell post. I honestly don’t know what I would have said had I been granted one at the time and am struggling with what to say now — but here it goes.

To all those who sent and posted messages of encouragement and support, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don’t deserve it. I’m not saying that to be humble or modest. I truly don’t deserve it. In my estimation, I have had two of the greatest jobs in media in this town. I have been financially compensated for something millions of people do for free everyday: blogging. My opinions on politics have not only been linked across the state on the web, they have actually been published on paper and distributed all around Nashville. When I was in middle school I dreamed about being a newspaper columnist. I achieved that goal. If I never get another job, writing or blogging for the rest of my life, I can be satisfied in knowing I’ve had more than my share of luck.

I never dreamed that lightning would strike twice and that I would be able to continue what I was doing at WKRN somewhere else. When I was hired by SouthComm in March of ’08, it was a very small company comprised of NashvillePost.com and few other properties. Shortly after coming on board, SouthComm bought MusicRow. During my tenure, SouthComm bought The City Paper, the Nashville Scene, a Louisville alt-weekly and launched a woman’s magazine among other things. I’ve witnessed a lot of change. I’ve witnessed the departures, forced and voluntary, of a lot good people. It’s been an eye-opener. I got to work with and observe folks that I had only previously been able to admire from afar. You cannot fully appreciate the work of a Clint Brewer, a Liz Garrigan, a Jeff Woods, a Ken Whitehouse, a Tom Wood or a Jim Ridley until you witness how they work and how they work with others.

I wouldn’t trade my SouthComm experience for anything in the world. I’ve been able to do what I love standing on the backs of bloggers, commenters and journalists, and I thank each and every one.

I’m not sure what is next, but one thing I can say about the past four years is that I regret surprisingly little. I spent most of my formative years as one of those kids who teachers, parents and coaches always said had a lot of potential but never applied himself.

In The Wire, Marla Daniels once advised her husband Cedric to play it safe in his job because he “could not lose if he did not play.” That’s the way I lived my life until my late twenties — at least subconsciously. If you don’t give something your all, you can always lie to yourself and say that you could have achieved more but that you just didn’t choose to. If you don’t apply yourself, you can always feed yourself the excuse that it wasn’t that you weren’t good enough — it was that you didn’t really try.

Well, I did try. I gave Post Politics everything I had and while, at the margins, I can certainly pick things out and say I would have done them differently, for the most part, I have few regrets. Like Ethan Hawke in Gattaca, I never left anything for swim back. Knowing that about an experience you have finished can be very satisfying — even if nothing else about the ending is.

Post Politics was an exciting and fulfilling chapter in my life and it was my honor that you all chose to be a part of it. Again, I thank you.

SEE ALSO:
Nate Rau
Richard Lawson
Tom Humphrey
The Liberadio Interview
Trace Sharp
Michael Silence
R. Neal
Steve Steffens
Chris Sanders
Southern Beale
Say Uncle
Margie Newman
Nashville Jefferson
Joe Lance
John Brown
Ilissa Gold
Rex Hammock
Ben Garrett