Columnist’s fantasy: Dolly Parton for governor

In a bit of confessed daydreaming, News Sentinel columnist Frank Cagle is pitching Dolly Parton for governor. He doesn’t propose which party banner she should run under — and the singer, most recently famous within the state for helping victims of the wildfires in her native Sevier County — has never stated a political preference and generally avoided politics. Excerpt:

Tennessee has been blessed in recent years with smart, capable women and some of them would appear to be in contention to be the next governor. But there isn’t anyone smarter than Dolly, anyone who has given back more to her state and who is more loved and cherished.

I hesitate to suggest that this paragon lower herself to get into politics, but I have long thought that she would be a great governor, perhaps one of our best. We know that her heart is in the right place and that she has been successful at anything she has ever tried. Her compassion for the people of Tennessee and her good works demonstrate that she would be all about helping people.

…Dolly could likely convince legislators to do what she wished. Could you say no to Dolly? For instance, legislators are talking about using a budget surplus to cut business taxes. Given the way she grew up, I suspect she would suggest that they cut the sales tax on food instead.

If she ran, she would win. I know that she has a lot of business interests and a thriving career even at this stage in her life. But she has often demonstrated her willingness to help others. She could do no greater service to her state and her community than to make the sacrifice to step up and serve.

…Chalk this one up to a nice daydream from someone who has been bedridden with the crud for two weeks and who is bone tired of having to vote for the lesser of two evils. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone you could joyfully support and someone of whom you could be proud?

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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