Don McLeary, Convictions and Not So Smart Politics

13 01 2008

Don McLeary is being featured today in the Sunday edition of The Jackson Sun. You remember Don, don’t you, the democrat who was a state senator who jumped parties a couple of years back

Then Lowe Finney beat him in the November 2006 elections. I’ve written about McLeary several times over the years here, here, here and here.

The story is interesting. It’s actually fair on a lot of levels but the thing I’ve said since McLeary made the jump, lost the race and then decided to run against Harris for the Madison County Mayor’s slot is that you aren’t really going to know who your friends are because are you their friend. When you do the sort of whirlwind dance that McLear has done on the local political scene, you make enemies. The story says this:

The same convictions that got him to the state Senate are also what drove him to cast a career-devastating vote against a partisan colleague.

And the convictions that led McLeary to switch parties and give his one-time allies time to groom his replacement in Nashville are the same ones that pushed him to become a surprise candidate for county mayor in the Feb. 5 Republican primary.So far, that run has been met with reluctant support and criticism from some one-time backers, who say challenging interim Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris should not be McLeary’s battle.

Still, McLeary maintains he has the experience and eagerness to cull the best from a mostly powerless position.

But he also admits that if he loses in February, there won’t be much ability to run left in his legs.

McLeary should have let the fervor die down over his convictions (and I’m sure he has them but I still think that’s the weakest part of the story by the Sun. My first post written about him was called Actions Create Reactions. Two years later, I think I was right on this.) He should have waited before seeking another elected seat if he wanted to stay in public office. I’m not knocking his convictions, I’m knocking his decisions because they were very poorly thought out.

It was dumb politics.

Finney has the Senate seat, most likely, as long as he wants it. The Harris race is a different creature, but he is the incumbent (I admit openly I don’t know a ton about him other than what I’ve read.)

Trust is important in politics because it’s hard to discern. And in partisan politics, loyalty is everything.

The question no one is asking is McLeary loyal to his party and to those voters who put him in the Senate or is he loyal to his own objectives.  Because the voters put McLeary in Nashville as a democrat.

And they took him out.

Just saying.




One response

14 01 2008
Volunteer Voters » Party Jumper

[…] discusses the curious case of former state Senator Don McCleary. Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking […]

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