Phil Bredesen plans on becoming the next senator from Tennessee. Look at the statement he just released about President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
While other Democrats are rushing to man the #Resistance ramparts against Brett Kavanaugh, Bredesen has run in the other direction. After weeks of dodging the question, Bredesen finally announced that he would be voting for Kavanaugh if he was in the Senate.
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“Presidents have the right to appoint justices who share their values — elections have consequences. I believe a Senator’s responsibility to ‘advise and consent’ is not a license to indulge in partisanship, but should focus on the qualifications of the nominee, their ethics and their temperament," Bredesen wrote in a statement.
"I believed that Judge Kavanaugh initially met this test, and I was prepared to say ‘yes’ to his nomination prior to Dr. Ford’s coming forward,” he continued. "While the subsequent events make it a much closer call, and I am missing key pieces of information that a sitting Senator has, I’m still a ‘yes.’”
So there you have it. But there's a twist: If Bredesen's party had a majority in the Senate, Kavanaugh would never come to a floor vote. Some Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have already announced their intention to block anyone Trump nominates in committee.
This isn’t a position that Bredesen wants to be in, by the way. The current Supreme Court skirmish does him no favors because there is no liberal base to carry him to victory in Tennessee. It is a state that Trump carried by 26 points, whose last Democratic statewide election victory was his own win 12 years ago. And yet, somehow the Democrat had protected a lead in the polls right up until recent days.
He is well-liked. A former governor and mayor of Nashville, he is well-known throughout the state. He has a chance of winning if he can avoid the fallout from Kavanaugh.
Voters, conservative voters like the ones who make up the Southern electorate in Tennessee, are not impressed by Democratic hysteria. After watching allegations surface and then fall apart, they see the current controversy as a stunt or, worse, an attempt to smear an innocent man. Bredesen must sense this, and that is why Bredesen has refused to run alongside the rest of the Democratic pack.
The race is neck in neck between Bredesen and Rep. Marsha Blackburn with the RealClearPolitics average giving the Republican half-a-percentage lead at the moment. Bredesen lives and dies with his reputation as a moderate Democrat. He has to protect that reputation if he is going to win. He has to support Kavanaugh.