Phil Bredesen wants Tennessee voters to see him as an independent voice in his Senate campaign. His sales staff see him as something else, as a new Project Veritas report demonstrates — “a good Democrat” willing to say anything to get elected. Whatever Bredesen himself had in mind with his endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation may not be clear from these clips, but what is clear is that his staff is jumping through hoops to rationalize it away as nothing more than a political move.
One staffer reassures the undercover PV operative that “between you and me, once Phil actually gets into the Senate, he’ll be a good Democrat.” I don’t think it’s entre nous any more …
Maria Amalla and Will Stewart, staffers in Bredesen’s campaign, both say on hidden camera that if he were in the Senate, Bredesen would not actually have voted to confirm then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh. They explained that the statement Bredesen issued in support of Kavanaugh was a political ploy to gain the support of moderate voters in Tennessee. …
When asked to clarify that Bredesen is only saying he’d vote for Kavanaugh to “get the Republican vote,” Amalla, a field organizer for Bredesen’s campaign, affirmed, “Yes.” Amalla reiterated, “[Bredesen] thought that like by coming out in support [of Justice Kavanaugh] that it would get more republicans on his side. He wasn’t doing as well in the rural parts.”
If these staffers are right, it might be the worst political machination since a handful of idiots broke into a Watergate office to get access to the super-secret strategy of George McGovern. Before declaring that he would vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Bredesen was running neck-and-neck with Marsha Blackburn for the Senate seat. Since then, Bredesen’s been in a free fall, and that’s not because Kavanaugh’s appointment was deeply unpopular in Tennessee. It’s because Tennessee voters can recognize a phony when they see one.
Keep one thing in mind when watching this, though; these are staffers making these arguments, not Bredesen or his senior campaign advisers. This has a strong whiff of people trying to talk themselves into sticking with Bredesen, rationalizing away a claim that seriously shook their faith in him. Stewart says at one point that Bredesen wouldn’t have voted for Kavanaugh, “but he’s saying he would …which I don’t know if it makes it worse or better.” Stewart than immediately clarifies, “No, it makes it better.” He’s selling himself along with the undercover operative, and rationalizing lies for the greater good of Democrats.
In order to justify those tactics, Bredesen’s staffers have to hold voters in some contempt. Ergo:
JOURNALIST: “So he’ll lose voters if he says yes [to not confirming Kavanaugh?]”
STEWART: “Oh, straight up, yeah.”
JOURNALIST: “Are the people of Tennessee that ignorant?”
As recent polling shows, Stewart’s wrong about that. They’re smart enough to know when they’re being snowed.
Note: The reference for the headline …