Don's Blog: Congressman Jim Cooper Holds Press Conference To Discuss Progress In Choosing His Opposition In Next Election

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Congressman Jim Cooper Holds Press Conference To Discuss Progress In Choosing His Opposition In Next Election

Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) representing the Nashville area, held a quiet press conference yesterday to discuss the situation regarding the opposition in his next election. The congressman has traditionally selected the opposition to run against him in order to give the voters the feeling that there was a choice in the elections, both in the primary and the general election. Cooper long ago decided that it simply didn't look good to have no real opposition election after election, so he pioneered the method of selecting his opposition, in stages, to give voters the feeling of a real election, complete with advertising, sometimes even negative, and debates.

Cooper said that he was still deciding on both primary opposition and general election opposition, but that the opposing candidates would be selected by early next year, "definitely by the end of February--I'm going on a long vacation after that."

Cooper said the challenge "obviously is to find someone for each race who will play their part, the part they have agreed to play, without letting their ego intervene and get out of control, turning it into an actual competitive race. That would, after all, defeat the purpose.

"We'll get it done, and in plenty of time. It does seem like it gets more difficult with each election. Candidates don't seem to like just going through the motions anymore; they want to take a real swing at winning the whole thing, after I've been good enough to make them famous, at least for an election cycle. They'll at least be a footnote in the history books; that's good enough for most people."

The lone reporter at the press conference, John Seigenthaler 7.87, a descendant of the famous publisher, asked several probing questions. One was how the congressman was feeling (Fine!). Another was how his wife was doing (Fine!). A third was about how the Washington Redskins had done this season (I've seen both better and worse.).

But Cooper seemed to bristle at a question about whether Cooper could simply dispense with the process of picking his own opponents for what some call a "phony" election.

"The people who follow it don't think it is phony," Cooper retorted, "even when they know about the process we follow here. They watch the coverage, or read it, and they see the commercials and watch the debates. They read the biographies of the candidates and their spouses, as if it was their own family they were reading about. At the end of it all, they feel they have particpated in American democracy at its best. What else can give them that feeling?

"And something else as well. There are some, a minority but an intelligent minority, who know that we have put the whole show together, that it is different from elections in other states, even other elections in Tennessee. They see it as entertainment. But you know something? They think it is damned good entertainment!"

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