Sunday, February 20, 2005

POLITICS (WEEKEND EDITION)

Q: Did Rep. Marsha Blackburn Just Say No to a 2006 Senate race? A: No.

Posted By on Sun, Feb 20, 2005 at 4:00 AM

Guess what? Contrary to most news reports, 7th District congressman Marsha Blackburn has not renounced the idea of running for the U.S. Senate in 2006. Nor did the statement she released back on February 11th say so.

Moreover, Blackburn -- interviewed in Memphis Saturday night at the annual Lincoln Day Dinner of the Shelby County Republican Party -- declined, when pressed on the issue, to make a categorical statement of non-candidacy. What she said instead: “Well, we’ll just have to see.”

The kernel of her February 11th statement, headed “Blackburn Announces Senate Decision in a Letter to the People of Tennessee,” was to be found in the last two paragraphs of that lengthy document. They read as follows:

“I will remain in the House and serve the 7th Congressional District for the next two years as we fight to promote a culture of life, protect family values, and reduce government spending. I have been touched and honored by all those across the state who have asked me to consider a run for the U.S. Senate, but now is the time for my focused work in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Tennessee and the Republican Party are fortunate to have an emerging field of talented and dedicated individuals willing to serve the state. I wish them well. And, I want to assure all those who support our ideals that, as in the past, I will be there to lend my voice and my energy to electing a strong conservative Republican senator in 2006.”

It was pointed out to Rep. Blackburn on Saturday night that the first of those paragraphs can be interpreted as meaning no more than that she will serve out the two-year term which she won in her successful reelection campaign last year -- a fact which would not preclude a Senate campaign in 2006. She smiled and chose not to rebut such an interpretation. Instead, she said only that the statement reads “exactly the way I wanted it to.”

It was also pointed out to Rep. Blackburn that the promise in the concluding paragraph of her statement to “lend my voice and my energy to electing a strong conservative Republican senator in 2006” was not inconsistent with the possibility of herself being that “strong conservative” candidate. Again, she affirmed only that the statement, as written, reflected her sentiments and declined to make a more categorical statement of non-candidacy.

Was it possible that future events could still result in her becoming a Senate candidate, after all? “Well, we’ll just have to see,” she repeated.

The three Republican Senate candidates declared so far -- former 7th District congressman Ed Bryant, Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker, and state Representative Beth Harwell -- were on hand for the Shelby County Lincoln Day dinner, as was former 4th District congressman Van Hilleary, whose announcement of candidacy is imminently expected (“I’ll have something to say probably within the next 10 days,” he said Saturday night). All four had been present, too, at Thursday night’s Williamson County Lincoln Day Dinner, where they each spoke briefly. They did not speak at the Memphis event, which was addressed by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, though Blackburn made some brief remarks.

Will she be asked for further clarification of her February 11th statement, or will the media and the field of declared Senate hopefuls just let it be? Well, we’ll just have to see.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Corker Ends the Suspense, Won't Seek Reelection

      Tennessee's high-profile junior Senator, a recent critic of President Trump, resolves a year or two of speculation with the news that he won't be on the 2018 ballot; issue of future Presidential bid left unspoken to.
    • Reginald Milton's Birthday Surprise

      The first-term Shelby County Commissioner did indeed have a "major announcement" to make to a generous number of attendees.

Speaking of School Consolidation

ADVERTISEMENT

Readers also liked…

  • Cohen Tells It!

    In which Memphis’ Democratic congressman Steve Cohen, addressing an apparent GOP effort to muddy the waters on the Russian inquiry, not only takes no crap but gives it back where it came from. This is worth watching from beginning to end -- even for those who might disagree on the politics of the matter.
    • Jul 26, 2017
  • Another Big Shoe Drops with Lane's Entry in Sheriff's Race

    County Homeland Security director holds kickoff rally in Millington; considered major contender for GOP nomination.
    • Sep 13, 2017
  • Medical Marijuana Coming to Tennessee?

    According to a variety of signals, remedial state legislation is on its way.
    • Dec 9, 2016

Most Commented On

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation