Issues of Substance: Jeff Hartline Explains His Commentary for Endorsing Manny Sethi for the Tennessee US Senate Seat


Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Jeff Hartline to the studio.

At the top of the second hour, Hartline weighed in on his recent commentary where he has endorsed Manny Sethi. He explained the third and fourth paragraphs of the piece which cited the candidate’s differences of connectivity and substance.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by our good friend for over 30 years now Jeff Hartline. Good morning Jeff.

Hartline: Good morning Michael. Good to be here.

Leahy: You called in on Thursday when Carol Swain was talking about her op-ed commentary supporting Bill Hagerty. The former ambassador of Japan Bill Hagerty who is running for Senate. Things are heating up in that Republican. We had a poll by JMC Analytics that shows Hagerty up by three with 32 percent undecided. That’s significant if true.

JMC Analytics. I’ve seen their polling before. I think they were the group that did the poll showing Bill Lee in the lead the last couple of weeks before his election. But I’ve reported on them often in Breitbart and they are basically a pretty good group.

Hartline: I’m not surprised by that.

Leahy: 32 percent of undecided is very interesting. It seems to me this is heating up. Lots of charges back and forth. And we want to do at The Tennessee Star and The Tennessee Star Report is to give all of our readers and listeners the information they need to make a decision here.

And so as part of that, people we know are invited to write their commentaries about who they favor. And for the best ones, we bring them in and talk to them. So Carol started that off with her endorsement of Bill Hagerty last week. And you called in and had a healthy discussion with Carol.

Hartline: I thought so.

Leahy: I thought it was good and very respectful. Different points of view. So I invited you, Jeff, to write your commentary in favor of Manny Sethi. And so here you are today willing to take all calls on why you support Manny Sethi and oppose Bill Hagerty. I thought it was interesting. A lot of your piece here you start off with issues of style. Those seem to be something you led with. Talk about that a little bit.

Hartline: For me, it’s not so much style maybe I didn’t speak clearly here or write clearly. It was more about issues of substance. And issues of connectivity. What we’ve experienced in Tennessee over the last several years is that we’ve had our United States senators seeming to work against their own constituents as evidenced by the fact that Bob Corker couldn’t’ even run for re-election.

Leahy: Our good friend Bob Corker. (Laughs)

Hartline: Couldn’t even run for election because he knew he wasn’t going to make it.

Leahy: Mercifully gone. Thank God Marsha is there.

Hartline: This was an opportunity in my judgment to make a move in the right direction for the citizens of Tennessee. I just don’t get the impression from being around ambassador Hagerty and listening to him speak. Finally, we actually got to hear words from him on television. He just seems so put together by somebody else as opposed to having a passion of his own. That’s where I’m coming from.

Leahy: There are issues of style and substance in your commentary in the third in the fourth paragraphs. You said, “You had the opportunity to hear both candidates at a Wilson County GOP Reagan Day Dinner last year. Your quote, “Hagerty was completely unpolished as a speaker, completely oblivious to the people in the room whom most he never attempted to connect with and lacking in energy. He did, however, remind us ad nauseam that he was endorsed by President Trump.”

Hartline: Yeah, we got that. That came rolling through.

Leahy: “Sethi, on the other hand. Worked the room tirelessly, shaking hands, meeting voters of all ages and some non-voting youngsters, smiling broadly as he politely asked for support. His remarks were crisp and energy-laden, connecting on issue after issue and making clear his intention to add one more Senator who would support the President’s efforts without fail.”

Those are your words. Third and fourth paragraphs. You do get a lot into the substance here, but that’s a style issue. And you are not the first person to make that comment.

Hartline: I would say from a standpoint of connectivity of a candidate to a voter. For instance, I can just tell you, you know my wife.

Leahy: Your sainted wife. (Chuckles)

Hartline: Exactly. There is not a person in the world.

Leahy: She’s listening.

Hartline: I hope so.

Leahy: She is a sainted wife and we know that to be true. (Chuckles)

Hartline: There’s not a person in the world that’s running for office that could fool her. If she had 30 seconds to sit in front of someone and have a conversation she’d be able to read them like a book. When you are not willing to get out there and get in front of voters face to face it’s a problem.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Manny Sethi” by Manny Sethi. 









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