In what was billed as a "campaign kick-off" for a gubernatorial campaign that started over a year ago and has conducted numerous kick-offs since, a populist-sounding Zach Wamp visited the State Capitol today to address Middle Tennessee supporters.
U.S. Rep. Wamp, R-Tenn., told the crowd in a speech that will likely be part of a future campaign commercial that, "Tennessee needs to be like Warren Buffett and Volkswagen and invest when others retreat." He then said the state would have no choice but to lay off workers due the lagging economy.
In detailing his ambition, Wamp called for creating a defense industry corridor in Middle Tennessee and an agribusiness corridor in west Tennessee to complement the technology corridor that has been created in the eastern part of the state.
He also offered his support for early childhood education, teaching children with phonics, and he promised a healthier state if he is elected, saying he'd work to fight childhood obesity. In a rhetorical swoon, Wamp added that the best anti-depressant is sweat.
Calling "courageous" the members of the state legislature who were in the room, Wamp repeatedly referenced Speaker of the House Kent Williams. Williams, as you recall, has been barred by the Tennessee Republican Party from running for office as a Republican again. When asked whether he thought Williams should be able to campaign as a Republican, Wamp dodged the question, saying emphatically, "I think Kent Williams is a Republican."
Also in attendance were Wamp's wife Kim, daughter Cody, son Westin, and country singer John Rich.