Invisible Elephant

While the state Democratic Party has gotten its act together and stopped the fratricide, the state Republicans are trying not to mention the Elephant in the room.

Outgoing GOP party chair Robin Smith threw Republican House Speaker Kent Williams out of the party. National Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele took his foot out of his mouth long enough to appear at the Sullivan County Reagan Day Dinner to attack Williams, pledging to "take him out" and commending Smith for her prompt action.

Meanwhile, state Republicans are to pick from state Rep. Eric Swafford, Chris Devaney, and Oscar Brock to be a new chair. Whoever wins comes into the office with a mandate to raise money for 2010 legislative races and the gubernatorial race. Will the new chair prefer to have the Speaker of the House in the party and being helpful or continue to insist he is an outcast?

Meanwhile, Tom Humphrey reports on his blog that a Tri-Cities television station says that the day Steele was bragging about taking Williams down, Republican gubernatorial candidate Zach Wamp was having lunch at Dino's restaurant in Elizabethton, the restaurant owned and operated by House Speaker Kent Williams.