Thursday, March 27, 2008

Phil's good idea

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen has a good idea for a superdelegate primary in June to settle the delegate count for the Democratic presidential nomination. As he's noted, beltway insiders are cooler to the idea than those political leaders outside Washington. As the Memphis Commercial Appeal said in an editorial today, though, it beats a coin flip. And it also beats waiting until August to end the nomination battle.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

An Actor For All Seasons: Paul Scofield (1922-2008)

A sad piece of news from England today - the great actor Paul Scofield has died. There will be many tributes to the Oscar-winning star of "A Man For All Seasons" whose stage work was nothing short of legendary.

I saw him on stage at the National Theatre in London, met him after a performance and even corresponded with him over the years. He was kind, encouraging, humble and generous as a person and unforgettably powerful and emotionally engaging as a performer.

Thanks for sharing your remarkable gifts with us, Mr. Scofield. We truly will not see your like again.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Stand By Your Man...Or Woman

Here's a funny clip (like they do anything that isn't funny?) from The Daily Show that seeks to understand why fallen politicians like NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer always bring their spouses along for the "I'm sorry" press conferences:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ken Dale Ale!

Red State Update at interviews Nashville actor/writer/director Ken Dale Thompson, the younger brother of former presidential candidate Fred Thompson. Ken is also a terrific photographer - he took my first acting headshot and actually worked the miracle of making me look presentable!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Remembering Dermot Morgan and Father Ted

My brother Jack sent me a link that brought back fond memories of one of my favorite TV shows ever - Father Ted.

The man who played the show's lead character was an Irish comedian/satirist named Dermot Morgan, who tragically passed away just days shy of his 46th birthday - and one day after filming on the third and final series ceased. The tenth anniversary of his death was Feb. 28.

It's sad Mr. Morgan is no longer with us but the show, and moments like "My Lovely Horse" below, happily live on through reruns and DVDs. Craggy Island Forever!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Obama and Those "Non-College Types"

Hillary Clinton's victories last night surprised me somewhat but Barack Obama's delegate lead remains intact. As many have pointed out, that lead will be hard for Hillary to overcome, particularly where pledged delegates are concerned. I hope that uncommitted superdelegates get behind whichever candidate has the most pledged delegates because that's the fairest way to decide this closely divided race.

Assuming that Barack comes out on top of the count, though, one thing troubles me - his continued poor showing among voters who haven't completed college degrees. If US Census Bureau statistics are accurate, that's about 70 percent of Americans 25 or older. If John McCain gets the majority of those people (yes, I know not all are registered to vote but neither are all college grads), we will likely have another four years of trickle-down-is-trickled-on economics and imperialistic foreign policy. Barack needs to make a much better effort to attract those "non-college types" or all the lovely speeches in the world won't change the party in the White House on January 20, 2009.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Tuke's Team

A press release from Bob Tuke outlines his campaign team:


NASHVILLE, TN –Vietnam Veteran and former Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Bob Tuke announced today that he has filed his “Statement of Candidacy” with the Federal Election Commission and hired key campaign consultants.

“It’s official. I am a candidate to replace Lamar Alexander in the U.S. Senate. I have filed my paperwork and I am raising money. I’m also assembling a team of top-notch consultants with vast experience at turning “Red States” into “Blue States.”

The Tuke for Tennessee campaign announced his core campaign team today.
• Ben Chao- Campaign Manager. Find out more about Ben at
• Joe Trippi - Media and Internet Consultant. Find out more about Joe at
• FRCR, Inc. - Media Consultant. Find out more at
• Cathy Thomas – Fundraising consultant. Find out more at
• Stephen Lindsey – Political Advisor. Find out more at

“I am very pleased to be able to begin my campaign with this team,” Tuke said. “I realize we are starting later than some other campaigns nationally and that’s why I felt a need to put together a team of battle-hardened political veterans with a balance of national experience and Tennessee knowledge.”

Bob Tuke's Letter

I checked my Facebook account this morning and here's what I found:

"Dear friends,

As some of you know, I have decided to run for the US Senate against Lamar Alexander.

I will bring the energy, focus, purpose and determination of a Marine to this campaign and to my service in the United States Senate.

I am not so much offering myself as a candidate as I again am answering a call to service. America is in crisis. Our economy is in trouble, our schools are struggling to excel, our health care system leaves millions uncovered, and there are parts of Tennessee where the good paying jobs of the future are just a mirage. And in too many places, the cold wind of hunger and poverty whistle through open doors of despair.

Perhaps most critically, we find ourselves in two wars, with enemies lying in wait at home and abroad. Veterans return from war to heal their bodies and their minds only to find a broken system that leaves them without care. I fought in Vietnam as a Marine officer, and I cared for my Marines. I understand the rigors of war and the responsibility of our government to wage it properly and to care for those who fight it and for their families.

My wife Susan and I have built our lives in Tennessee and have been married for nearly 39 years. We raised our children Andrew (27) and Sarah (24) in the traditions of faith, service to country and belief in the ideals of the Democratic Party.

I hope you will support me in this effort as you supported me when I was your Party Chairman.

Thank you and Semper Fi,

Bob Tuke
Tuke for Tennessee
222 Fourth Ave. No.
Nashville, TN 37219

Good! I know Lamar is a huge favorite in this race, but he shouldn't get another term in the US Senate by default. And it does give me a good Democrat to vote for after months of thinking there wouldn't be one on the ballot.

UPDATE: Former Knox County Clerk Mike Padgett has his hat in the ring now too.