Saturday, June 22, 2024

Report from the Nashville GOP Summer Picnic

By Rod Williams, June 22, 2024- Today was a great day for the Nashville Republican Party Picnic and a great location. It was hot, with temperatures in the mid-90's, but under the canopy of tall oak trees at the Dragon Park, and a nice gentle breeze, it was not unpleasant. The playground was great for those with children. 

There were various tables and canopies throughout the site with various candidates talking with people attending the event and there were organizations explaining who they are and what they do and handing our freebie merchandise. I got a new tee-shirt to add to my stockpile of political tee shirts. This one was from Americans for Prosperity with the message "Bidenomics is Bad Economics." 

left to right: Peter Voysey and Bob Schwartz chat with
Scot Golden, Chair of the Tennessee Republican Party
The event lasted from 10AM to 2PM.  I arrived about 11:30AM. With some people arriving early and leaving before the end and some arriving later and staying till the end, it is hard to say how many people attended. Also, with the event so spread out, it is hard to estimate the size of the crowd. There were 222 people who voted in the straw poll for the 5th Congressional District. However, some who do not live in the 5th may have not voted in that poll and some may not have taken part in the voting at all. I am going to guess that maybe there were 300 to 350 people in attendance. 

Courtney Johnston 
We enjoyed a meal of pulled pork barbecue and green beans and mac and cheese. There was also a Good Humor Ice Cream Truck with an assortment of decadent selections. I have been trying to watch what I eat, but I indulged.

Me (Rod Williams) with Jennifer Hensley
Webb, Council Member district 10 and 
candidate for TN House District 50
 There were speeches by various candidates. Marsha Blackburn, Andy Ogles, Josh Rose, and Courtney Johnston all spoke and that may have been more that I missed.

I really enjoyed seeing people that I had not seen in a while, and I met some interesting new people. I had lots of good conversation. Some people know I am a never-Trumper but I encountered no hostility and had pleasant conversation with a lot of people. I have discovered that most people are much more polite, reasonable and tolerant in person than on social media. Also, there are about four others who attend Republican functions who I know are also never-Trumpers and we share a camaraderie and joke that we are a secret club within the cult.  

In the poll, there was a question asking who Trump should select for his VP nominee. There was a list of about 20 names. I voted for Tucker Carlson. Not that I want Tucker Carlson to be Vice President, but Tucker would be compatible with Trump; they are both conspiracist, Putin-friendly, truth-challenged, and share personality traits. 

The top three vote-getters in the poll for Trump's VP were Tim Scott with 32 votes, Marsha Blackburn with 30 votes, and in third place was Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but I did not get her vote totals. 
Lydia Hubbell and the Good Humor man.

Marsha Blackburn
In the poll for the Fifth Congressional District nominee, Andy Ogles got 174 votes and Courtney Johnston got 48 votes. This is disappointing. With all of the scandals surrounding Andy Ogles, I expected his popularity to fade, but among those who attended the Republican Party picnic, he is still popular. His team was mingling through the crowd and the tee shirts there wore touted that Ogles had Trump's endorsement. The Republican Party is definitely the party of Trump these days and Trump's endorsement trumps integrity, ability or any other consideration. Hopefully, most voters who vote in the primary will not be as devoted to Trump as those attend the picnic.

The poll asked who the next Republican nominee for governor should be. Mark Green got 86 votes, John Rose 45, and Knox County mayor Glenn Jacobs got 44 votes.

From a list of about 20 options people were asked to vote for what they see as the single most important issue facing the country. Number one, two, and three were the economy, immigration, and election integrity. That election integrity is seen as a major issue tells you what a hold the lie of the stolen election has on the minds of Republicans. 



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