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



Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone number. We do not post the contact information, but need it for verification. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more ... (click for more)

Teachers Have Good Compensation Compared To Other Taxpayers

Hamilton County experienced a property tax increase of about 10.7 percent in 2017. By law the reappraisal of property shall not increase tax revenue. So after the reappraisal the state certified millage rate for Hamilton County was 2.4976 per hundred dollars assessed value. The county commission voted to raise the millage rate to 2.7652 per hundred. That's about a 10.7 percent increase ... (click for more)

Federal Funding Allocated For Future Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Tennessee State Veterans Home Executive Director Ed Harries announced the receipt of the $26,224,263 award from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) State Veterans Home Grants program today. The grant will provide the federal funding needed to build the future Bradley County ... (click for more)

VA Issues Water And Road Traffic Cautions In Areas Of Savannah Creek, Harrison Bay And Chickamauga Marina

The Tennessee Valley Authority is issuing water and road traffic cautions for transmission line work that will span from just north of Savannah Creek to Chickamauga Dam. This work is part of several projects to upgrade TVA’s transmission system to ensure continued delivery of 99.999 percent reliable power. Area residents should expect to see helicopters working in this area ... (click for more)

Tankersley One-Hitter Leads Silverdale Past CCS

Silverdale had beaten Chattanooga Christian by a 7-0 final in a   softball game at CCS a few weeks ago, but the Lady Chargers were hoping to turn the tide after allowing just two earned runs in that earlier game. Things didn’t turn out as planned for the Lady Chargers Thursday evening at Silverdale. The Lady Seahawks are a really good hitting team and they showed it ... (click for more)

Fulmer Gets 4-Year Contract As Vols Athletic Director

University of Tennessee Chancellor Beverly Davenport announced Thursday that Director of Athletics Phil Fulmer has signed a four-year contract. Fulmer took over as UT's Director of Athletics on Dec. 1, 2017.   "Phillip has been a great partner over the last four months and I commend him for the work he has done with our student-athletes, coaches and staff," Davenport ... (click for more)