Until about a month ago, the TN-09 Congressional primary has been a quiet affair. Since Nikki Tinker’s announcement in March, she has been strangely absent, often avoiding any statement on her positions and comment to local reporters. Even so, in the past two months Tinker has demurred more often than not when asked to comment to the local press.
For the length of this campaign, Tinker has been vague when asked about her positions. In looking at her issues page, the substance is still quite thin, interesting considering that early voting has been underway for two weeks now. Clearly, Tinker feels that her positions are less important than “other issues”.
By contrast, the Cohen campaign boasts 11 major issues with subcategories on nearly every topic.
Tinker’s lackluster performance in focusing on the issues, and her self-imposed absence from commenting to the media has resulted little interest from the community, as evidenced by her low fundraising totals. Now suddenly, hours away from the closing of the polls, Tinker wants to go all in, and all ugly.
Certainly, TN-09 deserves a spirited campaign, but Tinker’s recent efforts, from the Forrest ad that premiered last week to her latest effort, using religion as a political wedge a la the Rovian tactics employed against Democrats nation wide over the past decade, paint an ugly picture of a candidate who has run out of options.
All of this is interesting considering that Tinker vowed to keep race and religion out of the campaign…
“This is not about my race, it’s not about my religion. I’m concerned about where these young people are going to be 20 years from now.” (Source)
Below is a transcript of the ad. I will not dignify this attack with a link, or the traffic that it would bring.
Child: Now I lay me down to sleep,
VO: Who is the real Steve Cohen anyway?
Child: I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
VO: While he’s in our churches clapping his hands and tapping his feet…
Child: If I should die before I wake,
VO: He is the only Senator who thought our kids shouldn’t be allowed to pray in school.
Child: I pray the Lord my soul to take
VO: Congressman, sometimes apologies just aren’t enough.
Based on this, and the previous ad, I guess everything is negotiable to Tinker, including her word.
A response from the Cohen Campaign is forthcoming and will be posted in a future update.