From Americue Times Recorder:
Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said Democrats must still prove themselves to American voters, some of whom crossed party lines for the first time to lift the party to victory in last November’s election.
“This a tryout with the American people, not a long-term engagement,” Bredesen said at the Georgia Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson dinner Tuesday night.
“There were a lot of people who gave us a try last November and they are waiting to see how it turns out,” he said.
Bredesen urged Democrats to continue to broaden their party by reaching out to small-town churchgoers, Wal-Mart shoppers and other traditionally conservative groups.
And he appealed to the party not to launch ideological purges, as he said Republicans had done in pushing U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, of Pennsylvania, to abandon the GOP and become a Democrat.
“We have got to avoid the Republican disease of being the church that roots out heretics,” Bredesen said.
Bredesen cited his own experience as a target of MoveOn.org. The liberal group launched a campaign to oppose Bredesen when he was mentioned as a possible U.S. Health and Human Services secretary. The post went instead to Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
Georgia Democrats are looking forward to next year’s elections, where they hope to make inroads taking back the state they ruled for generations.
The three announced candidates for governor were all on hand: Attorney General Thurbert Baker, House Minority Leader DuBose Porter and former Georgia National Guard Commander David Poythress. Former Gov. Roy Barnes also attended and said he hasn’t decided yet whether to jump into the race to replace Sonny Perdue, who is prevented by term limits from seeking a third term.
Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, who is entering her final months at City Hall, and former Georgia Gov. Carl Sanders were each awarded “Georgia Giant” honors by the party Tuesday night.