Who will be Gov. Lee’s “plus one” at the State of the Union?
Bill Lee has decided to leave Tennessee for a couple days to go to the State of the Union speech in Washington, DC. Lee probably deserves a short break. After all, he has been governor for about 2 whole weeks now. Time to cut loose and recharge the ol’ batteries! Road trip to D.C.!
But there is a serious question that the Guv will need to answer first. Will he take a senior staff member with him, and if so, which one?
The two obvious choices are either chief of staff Blake Harris or the new CEO Butch Eley. But a fair warning to Billy Lee: you are going to have some explainin’ to do if you take either one of them. Especially if you have to introduce them to the Prez.
Why, you ask? Well let’s start with Eley. While President Trump was pulling out all the stops to get Marsha Blackburn (and Bill Lee for that matter) elected, Eley was making large contributions to Marsha’s opponent, Phillary Bredesen. While Trump was trying to ensure we keep a Republican Senate, Eley was hoping we didn’t and put his money where his heart is. What is surprising is that Bill Lee put him in charge of the state. Nothing like thinking you were voting for a conservative Republican, only to have him turn the keys to the car over to a Democrat who spent most of his political career trying to keep Republicans from getting elected.
Then there’s Blake Harris. Harris lucked into his current job by working for a guy who originally was thought to have no chance of getting elected – but did.
But Harris has an extensive record of being anti-Trump (yeah, the same Trump who carried 93 of Tennessee’s 95 counties). He was campaign manager for Sen. Ben Sasse – a strong Never-Trumper and he worked for GOP Cong. Martha Robey (AL) who publicly attacked Trump. And just a few months before he signed on with Bill Lee, Harris spewed out a series of messages that left no one in doubt that he was a virulent opponent to Donald Trump:
And there is Bill Lee himself. After following Bill Haslam — the only Republican governor to publicly announce he would not vote for Trump – Lee takes office and the first thing he does is hire as his two top staffers people who hate Trump.
Have a nice trip to DC, guys. Don’t forget to get a selfie with the Donald.