I have seen many hack politicians in both parties in my 70 years but Craig Fitzhugh, a Democrat from West Tennessee running for Governor, has set a new low for pandering. Fitzhugh represents three counties in West Tennessee - Lauderdale, Crockett and Haywood. Haywood(#80) and Lauderdale(#88) are two of the poorest of the 95 counties in the state. Lauderdale has an average family income of $30,281 and 26.2 percent of the county lives in poverty.
So what has Fitzhugh decided to make a campaign issue? Bringing back the Lady Vols name to UT women's teams. The state of Tennessee has made great strides in the past years under the leadership of Governors Bredesen and Haslam, but we still have room to improve education, health care and income growth in our state. I would consider these issues much more important than what a sports team nickname is.
With much ado Fitzhugh called a press conference at the Pat Summitt plaza yesterday. On a University campus with 25,000 students and in a Metro area with 850,000 people a whole 12 people showed up for Fitzhugh's little dog and pony show. I am sure a family of four in Lauderdale County trying to live on $30,281 really cares whether the teams are the Vols or Lady Vols.