Yarbro Tosses Mudball at Henry

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Yarbro doesnt look like a mean man in this picture.
  • Yarbro doesn't look like a mean man in this picture.
Would Jeff Yarbro throw his grandfather down the stairs? That's the question many Democrats probably are asking themselves at this moment. In a press release, the young whippersnapper Yarbro criticizes the venerated Sen. Douglas Henry for voting with the GOP this session to nullify national health care reform. He urges Henry to vote no when the issue returns to the Senate this week.

“Senator Henry supported this Republican political stunt the first time around. Now that he has a second chance to do what is in the best interest of Tennessee’s families, I urge him to speak out and vote against this damaging legislation. Not only is the bill obviously unconstitutional, it distracts us from the real work of improving health care in Tennessee. ... The Health Freedom Act is political grandstanding at its worst, especially at a time when more than one million Tennesseans have not had health insurance in the last six months. ... We need leaders who will stand up and vote ‘no’ instead of enabling this kind of sideshow politics.”

OK, so we guess that answers whether Yarbro will go negative in their Democratic primary. Previously, he has stuck to praising Henry almost as if he were giving the 83-year-old senator's eulogy. “Senator Douglas Henry, Jr. has served the 21st district with dignity and distinction since 1970,” Yarbro said in announcing his candidacy. “I honor his commitment to the state."

Asked at the time about his unusual respectful treatment of his foe, Yarbro said, “I don’t think of this race as running against Douglas Henry. I’m running for the state Senate. If you’re waiting on me to say something negative about Senator Henry, you’re going to be waiting a long time.”

Well, it hasn't been that long, has it? Yarbro is walking a tightrope. He needs to give voters reasons to unseat Henry without appearing like an opportunistic upstart at the same time. What do you think, dear Pith reader? Can Yarbro pull it off?

Update: Oh look, Henry is morphing into a Democrat at long last. It's never too late, is it? He's come out against that resolution praising Arizona. “With Tennesseans struggling to their feet after the economic downturn and the floods, this is no time for the legislature to do something that will discourage visitors from coming to our state and investors from bringing badly needed jobs here."

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