A large crowd of mostly women gathered Saturday for the opening of a Women United for Bredesen campaign office on Poplar Avenue in Germantown Saturday. Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen was there to listen to women’s concerns in his campaign for the U.S. Senate.
“Women are going to be really important in this campaign…and I’m really hoping that some of the women who were for Trump in the last election decide I’m the right person,” the two-term former governor said.
“We are working very hard and have an awful lot of volunteers…it’s also important to me personally. …I had a very strong, independent mother and for all of these independent women who are willing to help me means a great deal to me.”
The Democratic Party nominee is running against Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn. They are vying to fill the seat that will be vacated by the retirement of Republican Sen. Bob Corker.
One area where Bredesen believes he can make an impact in Washington is in helping West Tennessee in recruiting jobs. He said the two senators who were in office when he was governor were certainly helpful to him.
Memphian Lynn Eisenstatt was among those who turned out for the women-centered event.
“We have a voice and our own issues that are really important to us and I think the governor really appealed to a lot of women in his approach to the political realm and the fact that he wants to keep Tennessee issues in the forefront,” she said. “That’s why I’m on board.”
Rose Ann Bradley, who is with the Democratic Women, the Germantown Democratic Club and the Bredesen Campaign, called the event “a fabulous gathering.
“I’m pretty excited because Gov. Bredesen is someone I really admire and I think we just have to have him in if we’re going to get anything done up there (in Washington),” she said. “I’m excited because these people turned out today…We need boots out there on the ground and people on the phones and we need them to get their neighbors to go out and vote.”
Bredesen said he is running for office again after an long and illustrious career in public service because, “I still have this high school civics view of my country and my government.
“…I hate what I’ve seen happen over the past 10 or 15 years. It’s more and more about people shouting at each other and less and less about figuring out how to get things done,” Bredesen said.
“I remember my time as governor, my whole approach was don’t put on some tinted glasses, don’t get it from some point of view or another, let’s figure out what the problem is, let’s figure out what the solutions are and get people involved in different parts of the strategy and all different parts of the state and come together and find some kind of solution. A heavy dose of that is badly needed in Washington.”
Bredesen urged his supporters to go out and meet as many people as possible.
“…I think we’re really coming back around to the kind of day like it was a while ago where you really need person-to-person contact to get reliable information,” Bredesen said.
Politics in Washington, said Bredesen, has gotten to be so ugly he was afraid it had turned off young people to the political process. However he has been pleasantly surprised to find many willing to knock on doors and put up yard signs.
Bredesen’s Memphis-area visit also included the Orange Mound Parade and comes in advance of a forum at Rhodes College on Thursday (Sept. 13.)
Blackburn was asked to attend the Rhodes College event for a debate with Bredesen but said her schedule did not allow for it.