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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Will Tennessee Buy a Ford?

It’s not a particularly penetrating analysis of the Tennessee Senate race, but Robin Toner’s piece today in the New York Times on Harold Ford’s campaign does supply one very interesting anectdote:

Mr. Ford, a five-term congressman from Memphis, rouses his audiences, white and black, with little parables of political possibility: How he was driving back to Memphis one day on the campaign trail, fired up after a meeting at a church, and decided to stop and shake hands at a bar and grill called the Little Rebel. How he looked with some trepidation at the Confederate flag outside and the parking lot filled with pickup trucks, covered with bumper stickers for President Bush and the National Rifle Association.And how he was greeted, when he walked through the door, by a woman at the bar who gave him a huge hug. “And she said, ‘Baby, we’ve been waiting to see you.’ “

That’s actually an accurate parable of U.S. politics in Tennessee, the South, and America at large: voters are ready to fire the GOP, and Democrats simply need to seal the deal. The door is open; we have to take down the “Do Not Disturb” sign that has signalled voters Democrats only care about their own, and reach out aggressively to people who cast ballots for W., and regret it.

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