9th District congressman Steve Cohen has a penchant for the public eye that rivals anyone else's in politics. So it was inevitable that he would be one of the climactic speakers, along with Connecticut senator Chris Dodd, at the Tennessee delegation's last formal breakfasting meeting of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
Introduced by state party chairman Gray Sasser as "the funniest man in politics," Cohen expressed appreciation for "my new appellation," saying that, as a longtime state senator, he had gotten used to being, first, "the guy who's trying to get the lottery," and then "the father of the lottery," and needed to be known as something new.
Cohen then got serious, treating the delegates to a theory long since familiar to his Memphis audiences. Suggesting yet another moniker for himself, "citizen of the fighting 9th," he boasted his 80 percent Democratic primary victory in the majority-black 9th distrrict over Nikki Tinker, an African-American, as part of the same pattern as two other Shelby County outcomes on August 7th, black victor Cheyenne Johnson's availing herself of a majority among whites to become county assessor and white Paul Mattila's winning a majority of blacks on his way to retaining the office of trustee.
And all three Shelby races, along with that of Otis Jackson for county clerk, were symptomatic of the same tendency as is evidenced by Barack Obama's triumphs so far this year.
"People call this sort of thing post-racial politics, and it is, but I'll tell you what else it is," Cohen said. "It's post-Republican politics. It's symbolic of the fact that in Shelby County a Republican is never again going to win a countywide seat in Shelby County. Never!