Tennessee Dems Loaded for Bear

Local campaigns are so much more colorful than national ones. They involve all the best stunts:

bear.jpgThere's a bear on the loose in this year's [gubernatorial campaign.

A man dressed in a bear costume and wearing a highway trooper-style hat has appeared at several of Gov. Phil Bredesen's re-election campaign stops this week, holding up signs demanding the Democratic governor return campaign contributions made by members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

"The bear is a friendly reminder that the governor needs to 'bear' more responsibility," Chris Devaney, executive director of the state Republican Party, said Thursday.

Yeah, we're groaning too.

If you can "bear" with us -- HARHAR -- there's a little more, after the jump.

The bear apparently doesn't have a name yet, although staffers to Governor Bredesen have dubbed it the "Bryson Bear," after likely Republican candidate Jim Bryson. But Bryson isn't claiming responsibility for the ursine antics:

Bryson spokesman Lance Frizell said the campaign is not directly involved in coordinating the bear's activities.

"But I think the bear makes some valid points," he said.

Where will the bear strike next? That's classified information:

The GOP's Devaney declined to lay out future plans for the bear, other than to say it will make appearances at more Bredesen campaign events.

"I can't just hand over the play book," Devaney said.

Those Republicans sure are wily!

GOP Has Man in Bear Suit Shadow Bredesen Campaign [AP]


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