Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, now in his final year in office, always has a lot on his plate. He has to submit a balanced budget to the legislature every year. He’s involved in economic development. He’s working to improve student test scores and college graduation rates.
And, yes, he takes tons of group photos every year with constituents — at the Capitol and on the road.
There are images with various leadership groups at the Capitol and with people at economic development announcements, like the recent Allied Dispatch Solutions event in Sneedville.
There are more than 30,000 photos on Haslam’s Flickr account.
“Governor Haslam takes hundreds of group photos each year (that is just my estimate),” Haslam spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals said in an email.
That job taking all those pictures simply goes with the turf.
“In addition to all of the events he attends across the state, during legislative session he holds a session every Wednesday to take photos with constituents who request them,” Donnals added. “(He also does this throughout the year on various days when his schedule allows). He also holds a mass bill signing session shortly after the legislative session ends each year to sign ceremonial bills (at legislators’ requests) and take pictures with legislators and stakeholders.
“The governor truly enjoys these opportunities to meet the Tennesseans he serves every day.”
Maybe he sees those group photos as a welcome respite from the day-to-day grind of being governor. And he’s a good-natured guy anyway. He treats all people with respect.
I’ll bet he’ll be missing taking those group photos in 2019 when he goes out of public service.
Hank Hayes covers business and politics for the Times News. You can reach him at [email protected]