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November 21, 2004
THE NEW REPUBLIC'S REIHAN SALAM rounds up some Democratic contenders for 2008 and leads with Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen:
The Democratic governor of Tennessee is a star. Let's start with the obvious: He is the Democratic governor of Tennessee. What's more, he was elected in 2002, a year during which the Republican tide was tsunami-like. What better way to widen the electoral battlefield than to nominate a proven vote-getter from deep in the heart of Red America?
I've said here repeatedly that Democrats wanting to win a national campaign should look at what Phil Bredesen has done in Tennessee. He's not a terribly charismatic orator -- but unlike, say, Al Gore or John Kerry, he does very well on conservative talk radio, and he's not afraid to appear and field questions. Interesting to see that people outside the state are noticing. And I may be wrong, but if the budget deficit matters in 2008 -- and I think it will -- then Bredesen, who has managed to trim spending and put Tennessee into surplus without increasing taxes, will look especially good.