Wednesday, August 21, 2002

The Jackson Sun Rises

In Jackson Sun executive editor Richard Schneider's column about House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, he takes Naifeh to task over some ill-chosen words. Referring to his surprise candidate this fall, Antonio Lopez, chairman of the Tipton County Republican Party, he say:
"I'm not sure where he's from,'' said the Speaker to WBBJ viewers. "Washington?
New Jersey? Somewhere like that. He talks like that, anyway. I've been here all
my life.''

Presumably, Naifeh has the Dollywood snow globes to prove it.

And so it will go, with less than three months until Halloween and/or the elections.
Jimmy Naifeh has declared New Jersey as desirable as Kamchatka. We know
what people from New Jersey are like, we have HBO. The strategy is not new.
Quite frankly, this is the usual Naifeh thuggery. You don't want to mess with Antonio Lopez. He has a personal and professional history you don't want to get caught disparaging.

But this won't concern Naifeh. He has already demonstrated amply that he will use whatever tactic he needs, no matter how low or unethical or dirty, to keep his control on his powerful seat.

In making his point, though, Schneider makes a faux pas of his own:
All may be fair in love and politics, but Naifeh especially needs to be a bit more
careful in his choice of words. His "doesn't sound like me'' comes dangerously
close to "doesn't look like me'' and Jimmy Naifeh, especially Jimmy Naifeh,
certainly knows that "Tennessean'' takes up more space in the dictionary
nowadays than ever before. He needs to just look around, especially in Haywood,
where there probably are a few more Lopezs this year than last. The phone book
is no longer just an Anglo-Saxon reader.
Does Schneider know who Lopez is?

Never forget, since Lopez appeared Naifeh has considered him a real and credible challenger. He's not taking anything lightly or for granted. Not at all. It's part of his style, and smart tactics. Lopez is undoubtedly on a high, but he shouldn't let his guard down for a single second. Naifeh will strike, hard and ugly.

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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