The Tennessee Democratic Party is holding their annual Three Star Dinner Saturday evening in Lebanon at the Wilson County Expo Center. The event was formerly the Jackson Day Dinner until political correctness forced them to drop the reference to Andrew Jackson, the founder of the national party and one of three former Presidents from Tennessee.
Alabama Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) is the keynote speaker for the event, which is intended in part to boost the prospects for former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen in his own campaign for the U.S. Senate. In his race against conservative Republican Roy Moore in Alabama, Jones portrayed himself as a centrist/moderate in order to distance himself from the baggage of being a liberal Democrat in a dark red state. Bredesen is following the same strategy, as he faces conservative Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) in a state that President Donald Trump carried handily in 2016.
Once elected, Jones quickly revealed himself to be to the left of voters in Alabama. He immediately backed Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Washington liberals to oppose President Trump’s legislative initiatives. Jones has voted against funding the border wall, opposed CIA Director Gina Haspel’s nomination and voted against banning abortion after 5 months. In the event that Justice Anthony Kennedy retires from the U.S. Supreme Court at the end of the Court’s current session, as many expect him to do, then a contentious confirmation fight will put a spotlight on how Jones and his fellow Democratic Party Senators in states Trump carried will navigate that vote.
Bredesen has already signaled his left-leaning agenda should he be elected, having denounced the Trump tax cuts as “crumbs” for the middle class and denouncing Trump’s intention to construct a border wall with Mexico as “political theater.”
The association with Jones is unlikely to help convince Tennessee voters that Bredesen is really a “different” kind of Democrat.