Meeting McMillan

Last night, the Memphis chapter of Drinking Liberally was graced by the presence of Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, Kim McMillan of Clarksville.

21 months out from the 2010 Gubernatorial election, McMillan is traveling the state, meeting with Democrats and talking about her ideas concerning government, governance, and the future of Tennessee.

The meeting was really more of a “meet the candidate” than anything else. Because we are 21 months away from the election, she was short on specifics. We still have a long way to go, and the economy being what it is, a lot of tough choices ahead of us. How her policy positions pan out will likely be determined by the state we find our state in as the election approaches.

Despite all this, McMillan impressed me. She is articulate, positive, resolute in her decision to run, and armed with a “why not” worldview that is inspiring. At the same time, she acknowledged that the campaign ahead would be tough, particularly in the face of two Republican candidates that could either self-fund, or who are raising millions of dollars. This could be further complicated by the possible ascension of Governor Bredesen to HHS, though speculation about that has been dying down over the past several days, and by the possible entry of some well known Democrats like Harold Ford Jr., though he may also be up for an Administration post.

Right now, she’s the only one running, though in addition to speculation about a run by Ford, there’s been talk that State Senator Andy Berke of Chattanooga may throw his hat in the ring, as well as State Senator Jim Kyle of Memphis. Because it’s so early, it’s too soon to get behind any one candidate, but I’ll tell you this, Mrs. McMillan has set the bar pretty high. People looking to get in the race better get off the fence soon and bring their A game. She’s ready to go all 12 rounds.

The meet and greet was attended by the local media, so there should be more comprehensive coverage coming in the next few days.

All in all, I really enjoyed getting to meet Mrs. McMillan, and I’m looking forward to hearing more specifics in the coming months.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the race ahead of us.

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