Oh, y’all, I swear, I am still convinced that the TNGOP is better than any soap opera on television today. I thought that the Williams thing had died down somewhat and we were left to see how it played out. Would the reporters dispatched to Williams’s old stomping grounds find similar complaints from other women (you know where I’m putting my money)? Would Robin Smith kick him out of the Party and, if so, would she use her tough-guy act to catapault herself into office?
All interesting questions, but lacking the panache one hopes for in a Tennessee political blow-up. Where was that certain something that would make you throw back your head and laugh long and hard?
Well, my friends, here it is:
“Her exact words were, ‘Congratulations Speaker. It’s hard to kill the Devil but (in) two years you’re a dead man.’ That’s a pretty harsh statement.”
He said his “basic response was bring it on.”
Mrs. Smith said this afternoon that “that is an absolute lie” that she called Speaking Williams a devil. She said she was standing beside Rep. Mumpower’s desk and was looking at former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, not Rep. Williams, at the time she made the remarks.
“I just mouthed the words, ‘It’s hard to kill the Devil,” she said, noting she was “looking at Naifeh straight in the eye.”
She said Rep. Williams “continues to try to personalize this.”
In a subsequent e-mail to the Times Free Press, Mrs. Smith noted that as she stood beside Rep. Mumpower she also looked at Rep. Williams and said, “Good luck. You’ll need it.”
Rep. Naifeh recalled he was at the podium with Speaker Williams. He didn’t recall anyone calling him or Speaker Williams a “devil.” But Mr. Naifeh said he did recall a woman who “yelled” something like “we’re coming after you. Then he (Williams) said, ‘Come on.”
“Something like that. She wasn’t talking to me.”
I repeat, Robin Smith, the head of the TNGOP admits that she said “It’s hard to kill the Devil” to an elected official. All that’s in dispute here is which elected official she said it to. I ask you, in what world is this appropriate behavior for a person running a political party? And how smooth is Naifeh being all “Oh, I heard some woman yelling, but she wasn’t talking to me.”? Smith’s all making it out like there was some great showdown where she was staring in Naifeh’s eyes and mouthing words at him to scare him half to death and Naifeh’s all, “I didn’t notice any crazy yelling woman.”
And the Republicans’ defense seems to amount to “Hey, we call everyone the Devil and insinuate that we might, playfully, murder them, so Williams can’t be sure we meant him. God, he takes everything so personally.” And Smith calls him a liar! Well, good lord, woman, when you’re giving someone the old crazy eye from across the room, and shouting out death-threats, it’s understandable how the man next to him might be confused about which one of them you’re addressing. I don’t think that’s “lying.” That’s just good old fashioned fear.