Tennessean columnist and bloggist, Gail Kerr tells a great story about our now former Lt. Gov. John Wilder circa 1991 or 1992.
I was assigned to cover the state Senate for The Tennessean. The leaders of the house and senate made a rather vague and loosey goosey attempt to clean up some of the ethical, shall we say, challenges on the hill.
In particular, it was decided on high that starting cocktail hour while the legislature was still debating bills on the house and senate floor was probably bad form. Maybe it was decided when they were high, I’m not sure. But a ban was declared on buying those little cans of Donald Duck orange juice from the concession stand to use as mixers with vodka.
The legislature drinking SCREWdrivers – somehow it just fits, doesn’t it?
Anyway, Wilder called the Senate into session on the first day of the General Assembly with great formality. There was prayer, there was pomp, there was circumstance in that beautiful, ornate gallery. Reporters were packed in the press box. Cigar smoke wafted around the rafters.
And the man who would become governor should something happen to number one gaveled the state Senate of the great state of Tennessee into order with this god-like, roaring declaration:
“The Senate used to go,’Quack Quack.’ The Senate don’t go ‘Quack Quack’ no more. The Senate is good. The Senate is the Senate.”
It’s a new day with Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. But boy, he’s going to have to work hard to be that funny.