Steve Darden, Guest Blogger

4 min readAug 4, 2020


Today it’s my great honor to re-introduce to you Steve Darden. I was honored when he accepted my invitation to be today’s guest blogger. Steve is my first repeat guest blogger, but I hope he won’t be my last one. Steve’s initial guest blog was in April. Thank you, Steve Darden, for being my guest blogger this week! I appreciate you!

Because part of today’s blog initially appeared in The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia in 2011, I thank Scott Robertson for graciously allowing us to reprint the content.

I can’t remember how I met Steve, but I think it was probably through his brother, Bill. Bill and I were in the same graduating class at Science Hill High School. Steve and his family are my neighbors, and I often see them as they walk about the neighborhood.

Steve is an attorney and is running for Congress from the First Congressional District of Tennessee. As a former Mayor of Johnson City, Steve is particularly well-suited for that position. I was thrilled with I read the Johnson City Press yesterday and saw they endorsed Steve’s candidacy. If you live in the First Congressional District of Tennessee and have not yet voted, I urge you to vote for Steve.

Many of my readers live outside of the District; please don’t think that Steve’s words do not pertain to you. They do. Take 3 or 4 minutes to read his wise words.

It’s Still About The Economy

Contributed by Steve Darden

Originally published March 2011; updated August 3, 2020

It’s political season, and I am personally in the midst of a campaign to become the U.S. Congressman for the 1st Congressional District of Tennessee. My campaign has focused on our local economy and the potential for us to enjoy greater economic success across-the-board by our 12 counties becoming more unified. I have frequently quoted President Ronald Reagan, who is credited with saying “the best social program is a good job.” On the national level, the Presidential election is now less than 100 days away and the national economy will, as always, have a central role in the campaign.

As today’s guest blogger, I have shared excerpts from an article that I contributed to the March 2011 edition of The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia. Thanks to The Business Journal for agreeing to the republication of the article. All the best!

Our 41st President, George H. W. Bush, is our most recent one-term President. Despite the success of Desert Storm, and high approval ratings, the electorate denied the first President Bush a second term because of a lackluster economy. Bill Clinton capitalized on voters’ economic angst in his 1992 campaign, riding the simple mantra of “It’s the economy, stupid” all the way to the White House. Despite his foibles, the Arkansan served two terms, largely due to a robust economy. In 1980, Ronald Reagan made a one-term president of Jimmy Carter for reasons that included a prevailing economic malaise. [Update: President Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012 despite a sluggish economy.]

The United States of America was about the economy in 1776, when, after being at war with Great Britain for months, the 13 colonies broke with the motherland. Among the “long train of abuses and usurpations” listed in the Declaration of Independence as having been perpetrated by King George III were the “cutting off trade with all parts of the world” and “imposing taxes on us without our consent.”

The USA was about the economy in 1925 when Vice-President turned President Calvin Coolidge was credited with saying, before the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, “the business of America is business.” It was about the economy during the New Deal and the New Frontier, and it’s about the economy now.

Campaign advisor James Carville “got it” when he persuaded the Clinton campaign to focus on the economy in 1992. Now, in our region and in Nashville, it appears the political leadership “gets it.” Virginia seems to have gotten it years ago, directing tobacco settlement money to fund worthwhile economic development projects, several of which have paid dividends in Southwest Virginia.

In Northeast Tennessee, several economic development organizations are equipped to attract new business and help expand existing business in the region.

Individually and collectively, these groups have much potential to deliver jobs and add overall wealth and prosperity in our region. Competition in the business recruitment arena has never been keener, but the Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia region is a great place to live and do business. And we all benefit from each other’s success.

Once American independence was won, our founding fathers declared as a national purpose “securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” (Preamble — U.S. Constitution). Economic opportunity is one such blessing that is not available throughout the world but that our regional leaders must protect and enhance. The current workforce and our posterity — our children and their children — deserve opportunities to enjoy rewarding careers and quality of life near home.

#SteveDarden #FirstCongressionalDistrictofTennessee #BillDarden #ItsStillAbouttheEconomy #JohnsonCityPressEndorsement

Copyright August 3, 2020 by Steve Darden and Rebecca Henderson