Update: Later in the week, this piece will be published in Freedom Press, Nashville's very cool weekly LGBT newspaper. Go check it out now.
In an interview featured in The Times of UK, the Democratic Governor of the red state of Tennessee expressed his views on the anticipated presidential candidacy of Sen. Hillary Clinton.
The Governor was rather blunt: "I sure hope there are other people who would step forward." Bredesen added that he thinks "people are really hunting around and looking for something different." In his view, when the right candidate is found the Democratic Party will get organized and excited, but: "We just haven't had that person yet."
The Governor himself has been named as a possible contender for the 2008 presidential race.
Bredesen cannot be too happy with the Sunday Times story which is headlined: Southern Revolt on the Ascent of Hillary and refers to his remarks about Sen. Clinton as a "calculated snub." The reporter suggests that this interview with the international press is likely the result of Bredesen's own presidential ambitions.
In a telling move, the millionaire Governor attempted to align himself with the working class. The Harvard graduate charged that the Democratic Party has been taken over by intellectuals.
Bredesen knows that Americans don't like intellectuals. In the U.S., a college education is reserved for a minority of the population; a mere 25% of Americans hold college degrees. It's also true that there is no shortage of intellectuals in the Republican Party, they just don't occupy the White House. Bredesen governs a state that comes in at #43 in the ranking of states by college degrees.
The Governor said that the Democratic Party has “somehow gotten itself divorced from the blue-collar constituency it has always relied on for presidential success.”
In red states like Tennessee, the blue collar constituency is often the working poor. While it may make sense for the Governor to play to the large working class or working poor population so often found in red states like Tennessee, the Democrat is not exactly a champion for the rights of the working class or the poor.
Under his administration, both workers' compensation and healthcare are taking hits. Among other things, the Governor plans to cut 323,000 persons from the state's healthcare plan for the poor, the disabled, the elderly and otherwise medically needy.
There is also some talk in the Times story about guns. The story doesn't mention it but during Bredesen's 2000 campaign, he did a photo-op while engaged in the manly sport of Dove killing. All decked out in the latest Great White Macho Hunter fashion, he was featured as fearless Dove Slayer in virtually every newspaper in the state.
The working class that Bredesen would align himself with does include a rather famous contingent of white male voters who are less than happy with a party that champions women's rights. Actually, they are less than happy with anyone who questions gender. Bredesen's "calculated snub" is also a calculated play to the angry white male voters who would never vote for a woman, or anyone else who questions traditional gender roles.
While numerous other nations have voted women into the highest office in the land, the U.S. has not. In the U.S., the highest office is still stuck in the first principle of masculinity. Like masculinity, the U.S. presidency is all about being anything but female . . anything but feminine . . anything but a sissy . . anything but a wimp.
The good old boys don't like Hillary Clinton. They don't like any ambitious women. Bredesen asserts that Sen. Clinton "would face an 'uphill road' to win the White House." Presumably there is a Democrat out there somewhere who will have an easy time of it.
We've heard it before, we'll hear it again. Someday a woman will be president . . . but these are especially dangerous times . . . someday a woman will be president . . . but it's too risky right now . . . someday a woman will be president . . . but this time there's too much at stake . . . someday a woman will be president . . . but not now . . .