Over the past 8 months, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and talk to nearly every Democratic candidate for Governor. This weekend, I hope that I will be able to complete that list.
So far, I like all of them, though some more than others. Each brings something different to the table. Kim McMillan’s experience and can do attitude is a huge asset to her campaign. Ward Cammack’s out of the box thinking is refreshing and something that all the candidates should look at. With Roy Herron’s charisma he could probably be successful selling ice cubes to Eskimos.
But what about Jim Kyle?
Last night he dropped in on the Memphis Drinking Liberally crowd to talk about his campaign and his plans for the state as Governor. Without getting into specifics, the thing that struck me more than anything else was not any particular strategy or tactic that he hopes to employ as Governor, but a “whole patient” philosophy in approaching the challenges facing Tennessee.
Education, Jobs, Taxes/Government Reform, and Crime are common, if not cliché themes for campaigns. Most candidates for any office focus on addressing the symptoms of an issue. They do this for several reasons, but mostly because the root of the problem is either too big for them to wrap their heads around, or too hard to distill into a simple sound byte for the media. Kyle has managed to both make the message simple by focusing on a familiar theme, but also take it to a level that is more comprehensive than most candidates can muster.
Because he’s the most recent candidate to enter the fray, his site is a little thin on details, but he promises to announce an education plan in the coming weeks. I’m sure more initiatives will follow over time, but my first impression is really positive.
I’m not making any endorsements until I get the chance to meet everyone and more of their positions are fleshed out, but I’m feeling really good about the field, and Jim Kyle made a big impression on me.