In one of his few public Nashville appearances since his landslide election win earlier this month, Bill Haslam was sighted unexpectedly on Capitol Hill Monday.
After months of touring the state and pressing the flesh at high-profile campaign meet-n-greets, Gov.-elect Haslam has since made himself somewhat scarce. And his formerly copious flow of press releases and email pronouncements has slowed to a mere trickle.
But the Knoxville Republican reported to reporters hovering around him outside the state Senate chambers that he’s nevertheless been busy putting together a cabinet and otherwise assembling the beginnings of an administration. He’s still not sure, though, that he’ll have all his people in place by the end of the year.
“We made the decision early, it’s more important to get it right than to get it fast and so we’re working with all due diligence,” said the outgoing mayor of Knoxville, who was on hand to observe Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey conduct swearing-in festivities for Ferrell Haile, a Gallatin Republican tapped to replace former state Sen. Diane Black, who has a new job in Washington.
After his brief exchange with the press, Haslam walked off, then paused momentarily for want of directional assistance. “Which way am I going?” the governor-elect asked. “I guess I should learn my way around the building.”