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



Managed Hunting Is Necessary In Maintaining A Stable Deer Population - And Response

I enjoy seeing the whitetail deer that we have in so many areas here in East Tennessee, but here in Hamilton County we have been approaching the maximum habitat sustainability in some places including the Enterprise South area. I make this statement due to the fact that I have seen up to 20 deer driving around in Hixson in one evening during the summer. I believe that TWRA is doing ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: At Last! New Schools

In this me-me-me-only-me world of today, we-we-we-finally got a thrilling $125 million facility plan for the Hamilton County Department of Education on Thursday night. The School Board unanimously approved a well-thought-out “first Band-Aid” that will provide a new elementary school in Harrison, middle schools in East Hamilton and Howard, and a quite-satisfactory answer to move ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain To Hold Public Meetings On Idea Of Setting Up Own School System

Discussion about follow-up public meetings regarding the Signal Mountain School System Viability Committee (SMSSVC) report dominated the council’s work session on Friday afternoon. Council member Dan Landrum’s opinion about how to proceed differed from the other four council members. Mr. Landrum argued to end the study and to hold no public meetings. His reason was that of the 738 ... (click for more)

Man Shot Multiple Times In Cleveland; Jesus Teague, 14, Is Wanted

On Saturday, at 6:12 a.m., Cleveland Police Department responded to 1210 Elrod Place SE in reference to a domestic disturbance.   A man sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to Erlanger by Life Force. His condition is stable, at this time.   The suspect, Jesus Tyler Teague, 14, is still at large and considered armed and dangerous. ... (click for more)

John Gilpin Dominates Signal Mountain Pie Run

You can almost be guaranteed of one thing when John Gilpin approaches the starting line of a road race. Chances are better than average that the former Chattanooga Moc track and cross country standout is going to win. Such was the case at the annual Signal Mountain Pie Run Saturday morning as the 25-year-old Nashville resident covered a hilly and challenging 10K course in ... (click for more)

Bears Rout William Blount To Set Up Title Showdown With Maryville

Bradley Central didn’t succumb to a look-ahead scenario Friday night. The Bears exploded for 41 first-half points behind strong efforts by wide receiver Nick Howell and quarterback Dylan Standifer and routed visiting William Blount, 51-27, at Bear Stadium in a Region 2-6A football game. Howell scored five touchdowns, three on runs of 1, 31 and 13 yards and snagged two ... (click for more)