Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike McWherter, who lost the race to Bill Haslam in November, wants to find an innovative way to stay current and active in state politics.
McWherter, who hasn’t ruled out another run for office in the future, is now launching a daily e-mail service called “Out of the Blue” that he’s billing as a one-stop source for aggregated, political and government-related news stories.
“I think it will help generate talk around the water coolers, and at the same time I’m hoping it will help generate conversation and dialogue in the coffee shops … places where people gather where they don’t have a Starbucks, but they gather, and they visit and talk in the morning and talk about what’s going on in their state,” said McWherter, who is paying for the operation.
He said the news stories from print, radio, TV and online media will focus on government for the remainder of the legislative session, then on current affairs when lawmakers are not in session.
McWherter said he began working on the concept in December and hopes it will ultimately make government more accountable by drawing more attention, especially in rural areas, to state government.
He said he picked up on the campaign trail that people living in more rural areas were hungry for information but didn’t have the time or desire to sift through several news sites from across the state.
While McWherter contends it is his goal to promote the values of the Democratic Party, he said the site isn’t meant to step on the Democratic Party’s toes, although he said it will ultimately help promote future candidates.
“Let me assure you, this is not an attempt to usurp any efforts by our leadership, but merely to help enhance communication efforts. United we can stand and develop an environment in our state which serves everyone, not just a privileged few,” he wrote on his website promoting the email list.
“I think this project will help promote candidacies for people running for office going forward in lots of different venues,” he told TNReport. “And that’s what I hope it will do. I also hope it will help stimulate, encourage people to be more involved in whatever facet they want to.”