Another newcomer, Rep.-elect Heath Shuler of North Carolina, a former UT quarterback, showed Cohen how to operate his new government-issue Blackberry, prompting Cohen, a football enthusiast, to boast of having Shuler as my equipment manager.
One eminence the new congressman did not encounter was the outgoing representative from the 9th, Harold Ford Jr. (whose defeat in a U.S. Senate race Cohen, in an aside, attributed to Fords family connections, not his voting record or other factors).
Cohen did spend time with members of Ford's congressional staff and said he expects to sit down with Ford himself before the current congressman's term is over.
The congressman-elect offered no clue as to whom he might support as his successor from state Senate District 30. Gallagher and activist David Upton, another Cohen familiar, are two of the likely aspirants.About two of his alleged initiatives reported elsewhere, Cohen said he had never indicated that he intended to seek outright membership, as a white, in the Congressional Black Caucus and that he had decided to shelve any plans to push a national lottery. "I'd end up competing with myself," said the senator who is credited with creating the state lottery in Tennessee.
On the widely discussed failure of Pelosi to get her hand-picked candidate, Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania, elected as party whip in the House, Cohen said that a win by Murtha, whom he also supported, might have been more devisive in the long run than the victory of Maryland representative Steny Hoyer.>"This way both main groups are represented in the leadership," said Cohen.
They didnt exactly jump through burning hoops or shout Hallelelujah! to do so, but three prominent politicians who had been regarded in some quarters as possible holdouts made their election-day preferences known on Friday in the cases of senatorial candidate Harold Ford Jr., and congressional candidate Steve Cohen.
Ford got a boost from a longtime rival of the larger Ford political clan, Memphis mayor Willie Herenton, who was one of the attendees at a Ford-sponsored prayer breakfast held at The Peabody. Meanwhile, Cohen, the Democratic state senator and from Midtown and Democratic nominee for the 9th Congressional District, got a stamp of approval from Governor Phil Bredesen and from former interim state senator and current Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism. (For the complete story, go to "Political Beat".)
For the complete story, go to "Political Beat".)