Roy Exum: "Ties To Terrorists"

Sunday, June 15, 2008 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Fred Hobbs, a member of Tennessee’s Democratic Executive Committee, let it slip on Friday that he’s heard Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama “has associates who might have ties” to terrorists and, when he did, his fellow party loyalists were soon calling for tainted tomatoes to be delivered to the tiny town of Eagleville.

Hobbs is the former mayor of Eagleville, a little town of 464 people in Rutherford County near Murfreesboro, and his comments were printed in the Nashville City Paper much to the glee of Republicans everywhere and the red-faced chagrin of state party leaders.

Other state Democratic figures raced to douse the fires which have continued to smolder in the state since Obama displaced Hillary Clinton, the winner of the state’s presidential primary, but the loser of the eventual nomination which will be made official in two months at the national convention.

And while the Democratic national party was eager to get onstage to discount the melee, it was glaringly obvious that 10 of the state’s 17 so-called “super delegates” had still not endorsed the Illinois senator on Saturday. The biggest endorsement would now be that of Lincoln Davis and, according to some pundits, therein lies the rub.

Davis, a congressman from tiny Pall Mall, is said to be pretty conservative, but, better than that, is rumored to be strongly eying a run for the state governor’s mansion. Depending on who’s talking, the idea was for Davis to wait quietly until the national convention because some of his handlers think it wouldn’t be …. er, prudent to endorse the black president in the conservative area where he’s going to need votes for the governor’s race.

That’s where the delightful Mr. Hobbs comes in. He’s one of Rep. Davis’ closest party cronies and he was at his finest when he told the Nashville newspaper, “They reported on Fox News that (Obama) has associates who are connected to terrorism. It does throw a red flag up for me ….I certainly don’t think he’s a terrorist. I’ve just heard he has associates who might have those ties.”

“A whole lot of other people have concerns about him,” added Hobbs, a former state legislator, “It’d be nice to hear from him before the election about some of the things that were said on TV.”

Well, as politicians are wont to do, the Democrats immediately tried to pin the blame on the Republicans in a way that was even more laughable. A party spokesman said, “The Tennessee Democratic Party is united behind our party’s nominee, Sen. Barack Obama. Mr. Hobbs is obviously misinformed, and his statement highlights the perpetual efforts of the Republican party – especially in Tennessee – to turn Internet smears and highly-offensive gossip into their party’s message.”

Whoa! Hobbs is hardly a Republican and his remarks were in no way taken out of context. Instead, those in the know say Hobbs’ remarks were made in a way that would safeguard Rep. Davis when Gov. Phil Bredesen steps down.

Beecher Frasier, who serves as Davis’ chief of staff, discounted the remarks, saying he didn’t feel Sen. Obama was a terrorist, but when the story got stronger legs by Friday afternoon, he issued a terse statement.

“No one in their right mind, including me, believes Sen. Obama has ties to terrorism. It is truly ridiculous for anyone to make hay out of these comments,” said Davis’ spokesman, but it was hardly a secret Davis is one of four super delegates who haven’t given their nod to anyone. The others are AFL-CIO president Jerry Lee, U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon and former Vice President Albert Gore.

Six other super delegates who had endorsed Sen. Clinton haven’t switched, either, and the Clinton campaign, far from being dead, is on hold until after the national convention.

By late Saturday afternoon nobody was saying much, hoping both the story and Mr. Hobbs would cool down, but there was talk of delivering a basket of those salmonella-laced tomatoes to his house, which in the heartland of Middle Tennessee would be just like a terrorist attack, of all things.

royexum@aol.com


Shame On The Local News People

Thursday night there was a showing of the HBO Movie "Bessie" at the Tivoli Theatre.  "Bessie" was one of our most famous Chattanooga citizens.  Great movie and the outfits were amazing.  Cars and trucks parked out front were beautiful.   Now the problem.  I did not see any coverage by our local "news" persons.  Will HBO want to premier any other ... (click for more)

Sincere Thanks To The County Commission

It seems good government can raise its head every once in a while, so we must thank our County Commissioners for listening to the voice of the vast majority of the taxpayers, and not buying what Superintendent Rick Smith was selling last Wednesday as he pitched his tax increase.  The "it's for the children" ploy didn't work so far this time, so I guess our high-paid superintendent, ... (click for more)

City Applying For Federal Grant To Extend River Trail To Moccasin Bend In $2.23 Million Project

The city is applying for a $1.6 million federal grant that would be a key part of the funding needed to extend a trail by the Tennessee River from Renaissance Park to Moccasin Bend. The city is seeking an Eastern Federal Highway Division grant to go along with $234,260 of city funds. The state portion would be $259,692.  Grants from the Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations ... (click for more)

Flora Tydings Selected As Chattanooga State’s Next President

Flora Tydings is expected to be named the next president to lead Chattanooga State Community College pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents at a special called meeting next Wednesday. The board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the TBR System Office in Nashville. Included on the agenda is TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Dr. Tydings to replace Interim President ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats GPS 6-4 For D-II Softball Title

MURFREESBORO – Oh, what a difference a year makes. The GPS Bruisers came through the losers bracket a year ago and beat Baylor twice after losing the first five times they played, but those two were the biggest as it gave the team in blue a state D-II softball championship. The situation was similar a year later, but the results a bit different as the Lady Red Raiders beat ... (click for more)

Dickson County Ousts Ooltewah, 6-5, In Epic 12-Inning Thriller

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – For Ooltewah, more heartbreak followed heartbreak. After a tough loss to Wilson Central on Thursday, the Lady Owls fought furiously with Dickson County in an epic 12-inning marathon Friday before the Lady Cougars’ Keely Buchanan laced a game-winning single up the middle to end  the game and Ooltewah's masterful season. Dickson County, which lost ... (click for more)