Subsequently I read a blog article by Steve Ross, part of which dealt with the absentee candidacy (in Shelby County) of McWherter. And on Wednesday morning I had attended an event in Memphis in which Republican gubernatorial candidate Zach Wamp was making (by his count) his 49th appearance of the campaign in Memphis.
At the latter venue I fell into conversation with a gentleman from the Tea Party who dilated on the 8th district Republican congressional primary and wondered out loud why Stephen Fincher, the Frog Jump farmer/gospel singer (which is how he is usually billed), had so far been something of a no-show in Shelby County despite being regarded as the GOP frontrunner in the district at large.
And all of this suddenly welled up in my consciousness. Hey, what’s going on here?
Granted that, in McWherter’s case, he’s home free in his primary and won’t face an opponent until after August 5 when the Republicans nominate their gubernatorial favorite, but still… He is way less than a name-brand presence, son of Ned Ray or no son of Ned Ray, and why would he not (a) let Shelby Countians in general get a look at him and compare him to the GOP candidates they see so much of; and (b) give the hard-pressed local Democratic cadres a morale boost?
I mean, even I can afford the time and money required for a simple back-and-forth between Memphis and Jackson. (Or Memphis and Nashville.)
And Fincher…. Does he not realize that an ample number of Shelby County’s northernmost wards are in the 8th District he hopes to represent? And that the Memphis media market encompasses an even larger swath of the 8th District?
Are these no doubt worthy gents aware that their reticence to be found here is bound to be interpreted as indifference by Memphians, notoriously sensitive to slights by political officials from elsewhere in the state?
What can they be thinking? And how will it affect their chances on August 5 in the one case and November 2 in the other?