January 12, 2012

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Weston Wamp is the son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, the eight-term Republican congressman who gave up his seat in an unsuccessful bid to become governor of Tennessee. Not yet 25 (the legal age to be elected to Congress, Wamp will reach that milestone in March), the younger Wamp is aiming high, seeking to replace Chuck Fleischmann as representative of the 3rd District of Tennessee in Congress. The Pulse has teased and taunted Wamp for his youth and hubris, but his name recognition and fundraising ability are hard to ignore. In December, he raised more than $250,000 in a single night—a record for the district—giving incumbent Fleischmann reason for concern. In an attempt to mimic Playboy’s famed 20 Questions interviews, we submitted, well, 20 questions, to Wamp—some serious, some flighty, but all intended to reveal his views and personality, the latter of which is something that’s not reported on much. His answers are, we think, both revealing and, in some cases, carefully crafted. Our intent was to give the candidate an opportunity to represent himself in an uninterpreted manner. What did we find? The responses speak for themselves, but Wamp is certainly compelling, possessed of conviction (if not our sort) and fun. He’s young and inexperienced but spirited (we’ll give him that) and, if he wins, it may be as much a result of the collective discontent with Congress as much as his name or ideas. Of course The Pulse will offer similar questions and the same opportunity to each candidate in the coming months, but we’re young and sexy, too, so we begin 2012 and the campaign season with young Weston. These are his answers, unedited except for grammar and style.

You know the rap: You’re young, inexperienced and running on your family name. Why not lower your sights, run for city council and build a resume? What’s the rush?

I think climbing the political ladder can be very disingenuous. We need people to step forward and offer to serve at the level of government where they are passionate about making an impact. I have the utmost respect for people who serve at the local level, but I’m passionate about the need for our reckless federal government to hear from my generation before it’s too late. The federal government is borrowing more than $4 billion per day with no serious intentions to stop—that’s the rush.

In your view, what’s the biggest issue facing the 3rd District and what do you intend to do about it?

Any time unemployment is as high as 9 percent, that has to be the biggest issue facing our district and our country. Most jobs are created by small businesses and the federal government has stifled growth by causing uncertainty in the minds of the risk takers and entrepreneurs who drive our economy. If government would simply do its job—no more, no less—it would go a long way to restoring confidence. The tax code needs to be thrown out and drastically simplified, onerous federal regulations like Obamacare need to be eliminated and Congress has got to quit trying to fix the economy with short-term policies.

You set a district record for fundraising—more than $250,000 in one night! That’s an amazing haul. How much is it going to take to send Chuck Fleischmann back to Ooltewah?

The good news is that all it takes to win is the most votes. Money and special interests have way too much influence in politics today. I’m just trying to raise enough to get my message out there and I’m grateful that so many respected leaders in our community have invested in my campaign.

January 12, 2012

Comments (7)

Comment Feed

Give me a break

@Colbert Super PAC

Maybe when you learn to spell "naive" you can begin to criticize those who run for public office.

Anonymous more than 2 years ago

F150?

Weston says "I drive a Ford F-150, you think I listen to Coldplay?"

Really? He was driving a Land Rover a few weeks ago. Does he need a truck to complete the image?

The Question Man more than 2 years ago

Desperate Times...

Though he is conservative (how else could he utilize the family name, much less win the TN 3rd?), it is good that he has a distaste for the current partisan gridlock in Washington, which is perhaps worse than a Congress-backed, indecisive Obama administration that blindly follows the D-party line.

Honestly, it appeared that Chuck Fleishmann ran on a platform built solely on anti-Obama sentiments that sprang up during and after the Healthcare Overhaul debates; he was essentially the Tea Party candidate for our district, making him less a figure of local interests than he was a drop in a wave of the Republican Congressional counter-attack.
The John Boehner-led House has done little but shut down the White House's endeavors (and very nearly shut down the Federal government) as a means of protest, and unemployment rates are not much lower than they were when the Democrats controlled said House.
Perhaps Wamp, Jr. has a point when he criticizes the Occupy Movement: protest alone does absolutely nothing, and if you want to be not only heard, but respected, you need to stand up and offer solutions.

So far, most Americans feel the current Congress has done too much protesting and not enough, well, doing.

That being said, I'm not 100% sure if Weston Wamp is interested in "joining the family business," as a high school friend of mine said, or really offering solutions for the good of the citizens of Bradley, Hamilton, Union, Rhea, Meigs, Polk, and other counties of the 3rd District. I plan to attend one of his public speeches if and when he comes to Cleveland so I can hear this much anticipated platform that will be "launched" next month.

We need Conservatives and Liberals in government, but more than either, we need moderates; only then will we see a return of the bi-partisan cooperation that was prevalent under the Reagan and Bush, Sr. administrations. Let's hope Wamp is the real deal, otherwise this will be a very depressing year in politics; at the same time, let's not be blind to whoever he really ends up revealing himself to be, in spite of the evidence, trying to make him the antidote for what 2012 really is, no matter what: a depressing year in politics.

Josiah Augustine more than 2 years ago

The Next Obama

Anyone nieve as to believe real life experience isn't neccessary for making important macroeconomic policy decisions, should be thrown into the same category as Barack Obama (the irony of course is that Obama's policies are used as the punchline by someone with even less experience).

The US needs individuals from outside the beltway with real life experience to fix the current economic and political problems, not another career politican's family pushing their own advances through an already broken political system.

Colbert Super PAC more than 2 years ago

Wamp

I am 26 years old and do not think a 24 year old can have the life experience to competently represent the hundreds of thousands of individuals in a congressional district. When Mr. Wamp has had a few real jobs, maybe then he should consider himself honored enough to run for such a high office. Also, plenty of occupy protesters have worked a lot harder than Mr. Wamp. Just because you have money does not mean you worked for it.

Randall more than 2 years ago

Refreshing

It's good to see a candidate who focuses on the fact that he, himself, is part of the generation that will be called upon to pay back what our present "leaders" have so wrecklessly accrued regarding fiscal actions. It is also very refreshing NOT to hear the same old rhetoric of "It's the Democrats fault" or "We need to defeat Obama's policies" and "The other side just doesn't get it." To me, it's ALL of their faults for getting us where we are today. It's time to break down the party barriers (that are continuing to be built) and work together for some common sense approaches to help America return to the great nation we are and should be. Good luck to Weston and his generation.

Rick Tucker more than 2 years ago

Wamp interview

An embarrassing display of facile, hollow pandering - from the interviewer as well as the subject.

anonymous more than 2 years ago

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