Party Line Split Widens

Tennessee Democrats had a hard-fought election for the thankless job of state party chair. Charles Bone, a Nashville lawyer, had the support of the Democratic establishment, including Gov. Phil Bredesen. The delegates instead elected Chip Forrester.

Rank-and-file Democrats who supported President Barack Obama were said to be displeased with the lackluster support the popular president got from conservative-leaning Democratic officeholders. Others are angry at the party's loss of the state House of Representatives when Republicans (sort of) took control by a one-vote margin.

The high-energy Forrester is a party veteran who has worked for former Gov. Ned McWherter and was field director for then-U.S. Sen. Al Gore. Lately, he has been state party treasurer.