Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Harmony in Music City

On the heels of their most crushing election defeat since Reconstruction, you'd think that the (few) Tennessee Democrats remaining in elective office would try to make nice -- at least to each other, at least in public. 

Think again. 

Both Sean Braisted and The Nashville Scene's Jeff Woods are reporting that Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen is letting it be known that he doesn't trust TN State Representative Gary Odom (D-Nashville). Odom is fighting to retain a key leadership position (which will now be Minority Leader) of the Volunteer State's House Democratic caucus. Bredesen is seen as a supporter of soon-to-be-former Houser Speaker Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington) for the Minority Leader job since Naifeh will lose his Speaker of the House position when the GOP takes control in January.

News of this discord came to light in a story by the Associated Press, citing emails from the governor's office expressing "trust issues" with Odom. Sending an email to the AP was a sure-fire way to keep the dispute out of the public eye - not!  Bredesen and Odom apparently have long standing bad blood between them, dating back to the days when both served in Nashville's Metro Government.

Maybe we're looking at this the wrong way, but having a public food fight between Tennessee's Democratic Governor and a top-ranking Democrat in the state legislature just doesn't seem like a good plan.

Update (Nov.21): According to The Nashville Tennessean, State Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) will challenge Odom for the Minority Leader post. Fitzhugh appears to have the support of Gov. Bredesen. Rep. Naifeh's plans, if any, for a leadership position in the new TN House are unclear at this point.


Han D. said...

Jimmy Naifeh (D-Covington)

Stephen said...

Han D. -

Thanks. Correction noted and made.