In the course of last summer’s Democratic convention in Charlotte, the Tennessee delegation was — as its chairman Chip Forrester and others rightly boasted — the most “diverse” in the state’s history, up to and including a transgendered delegate.
But on account of several consecutive elections that proved disastrous for Democrats — at least statewide — the delegation was somewhat poor in elected officials (although Memphis certainly supplied its share).
As a compensation, the delegation did have actress Ashley Judd on hand — a Kentucky native and sometime Tennessee resident who spent convention week with the contingent from Tennessee, which she proudly referred to as her “co-home state.”
And, in speaking of Tennessee and Tennesseans that week, Judd inevitably used the pronoun “we” — most spectacularly when — as pictured here — she cast the delegation’s votes for Barack Obama on nomination night. (She did so, it will be noticed, in the company of some of the state’s — and Memphis’ — finest; State Representative Larry Miller, 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen, and Mayor A C Wharton.
Needless to say, Judd’s prominence in the delegation encouraged hopes that she might take a personal interest in the state’s politics. It was a subject much touched upon in Charlotte.
But, if Tennessee Democrats want her — say, for a U.S. Senate race in 2014 — they better be quick about making their bid. If an item this week in the online periodical Slate is accurate, Judd is now considering a run that year against U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Again, that’s her other “co-home state.”
Here was Judd as spokesperson for Tennessee last summer in Charlotte: