Former president Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, the annual banquet of the Tennessee Democratic Party, the Flyer has learned. The affair will take place in Nashville’s Renaissance Hotel on August 29.
Ironically, it was another Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, held in 1991, also in Nashville, at the Opryland Hotel, that played a significant role in what turned out to be the triumphant presidential campaign of then governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas.
The slated speaker for that event had been West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller, and Clinton, as a Democratic luminary from an adjoining state, was merely one of those Democrats in attendance. While eating dinner, though, Rockefeller choked on a chicken bone and had to be taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Clinton was asked to speak in Rockefeller’s stead, made what all present regarded as a powerful presentation, and shortly thereafter, whether encouraged by the experience or not, began his preparations for the 1992 presidential race.