-John W. Gardner
Senators Rosalind Kurita (D-Clarksville), Beverly Marrero (D-Memphis) and Representative Mike McDonald (D-Portland) received praise from the Tennessee Conservation Voters based on a study of their positions regarding legislation to protect and conserve Tennessee's natural resources.
"It has been an historic year for the people that are so very fortunate to live in Tennessee," said Chris Ford, executive director of Tennessee Conservation Voters. "Projects like the North Cumberland plateau land acquisition continue the vision of the current administration to protect a Tennessee way of life for future generations."
The event was held at the home of Brad Martin, a former state legislator and retired chairman of Saks Inc. President Bush was whisked along a roundabout route, apparently to let him avoid the sight of about 50 anti-war demonstrators.
Presidential fundraisers are normally big deals, hyped by campaigns to the media and offering numerous opportunities for pictures of the big guy with locals. Alexander, perhaps the most media savvy of all Tennessee politicians, neglected to announce this one.
That was left to the state Democratic Party, which chortled that the Republicans were asking $10,000 for fat cats to have their pictures taken with the president. There was no word on whether there were any takers; obviously it was worth at least that much to Alexander not to have his picture taken with Bush.
Alexander, governor from 1979-1987, was also a candidate for president in 1996 and 2000. In the latter campaign, he was sharply critical of an opponent from Texas, whom he accused of using "weasel words" and who wasn't, he hinted, quite bright enough for the job.
Perhaps his campaign slogan next year will be: "Prescient."
Alexander's most likely opponent at the moment appears to be Mike McWherter, a Jackson businessman and son of a popular former governor. McWherter has been cruising Democratic events to measure his chances.