Politics

Delegating Denver #47 of 56: Tennessee

View larger image Tennessee

Total Number of Delegates: 85 Pledged: 68 Unpledged: 17

How to Recognize a Tennessee Delegate: There is no greater state than Tennessee. America's fascination with the Volunteer state has been nothing short of all-encompassing and everlasting. Even the derogatory jokes -- duct tape is "Tennessee chrome," and fashions from Lane Bryant are "Tennessee shower curtains" -- are just the clumsy swats of envious Ohioans and Michiganders wishing to relocate. From Mountain Dew to Miley Ray Cyrus, every backwoods brainstorm that Tennessee touches turns to gold. The Butternut State is America's heart and soul. Everyone who has ever been here feels energized and instantly smarter. Whereas the bitter cold winters make the residents of northern states snooty, and the sweltering heat makes the residents of southern states emotionally unstable, the beautiful landscapes basking in practically perfect weather allows Butternutters to follow their bliss. This freedom has largely made the nation a better place, even though it has, on occasion, backfired worse than a hillbilly's rifle. Tennessee delegates in Denver will drip with charm and even remain smiling when delivering their traditional parting expression of "Kiss my ass!" Females will wear the Ashley Judd collection of printed tier dresses, tops, bottoms and accents available exclusively from Knoxville-based Goody's Family Clothing. Males will wear the Nashville-founded (now Georgia-made) Duckhead khaki trousers and J.G. Hook blazers, also from Goody's. Both will sport hairstyles that are slightly longer than the national average and impeccably groomed. It’s also worth noting that Tennessee delegates will not leave their hotel rooms until they look "pretty as a picture."

Famous Tennesseans: Pop Art constructionist Red Grooms; musicians Alberta Hunter, Bessie Smith, Big Maybelle Smith, Chet Atkins, Lester Flatt, Sleepy John Estes, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Dinah Shore, Eddy Arnold, Dolly Parton, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Gregg and Duane Allman, Isaac Hayes, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ludacris, Justin Timberlake, Kenny Chesney, Usher, Miley Ray Cyrus and Kings of Leon band members Caleb and Jared Followill; actors Fred Thompson, James Denton, Dixie Carter, Kathy Bates, Annie Potts, Shannen Doherty, Johnny Knoxville, Brad Renfro and Megan Fox; film director Quentin Tarantino; Google festive logo designer Dennis Hwang; folk hero, frontiersman and politician Davy Crockett; civil rights activist Julian Bond.

Famous Tennessee Democrats: Eleventh governor James K. Polk; former United States senators C. Estes Kefauver and Al Gore, Sr.; former United States senator and 45th vice president Al Gore Jr.; 48th governor Phil Bredesen; United States representative Steve Cohen; Tennessee Speaker of the House Lois DeBerry.

Famous Tennesseans With Denver Connections: 9News anchor Adele Arakawa, Denver Post sports columnist and ESPN Around the Horn-blower Woody Paige; Rockies first baseman Todd Helton; Ultra Black Hair-care expert Cathy Howse; Palmer Divide bluegrass band guitarist Greg Reed; The Real World: Denver star Brooke LaBarbara; Boulder-based www.tennesseeguy.com travel writer Jeff Bradley.

State Nickname: The Volunteer State, the Butternut State, the Big Bend State (official); Land of Moonshine and Mullets, the Hog and Hominy State, the Big Bender State, the Mountain Doers (unofficial) Population: 6,038,803 Racial Distribution: 78% white, 17% black, 1% Native American, 1% Asian, 3% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $28,455 Unemployment: 7.2%

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Sean Cronin