News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Rep. Artur Davisí decision is good one for Alabama

U.S. Rep. Artur Davisís decision to forego a 2008 challenge to U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile, was a good one for the state.

Mr. Davis, a Democrat from Birmingham and a Harvard Law graduate, has a tremendous political future ahead of him. Heís young, brilliant, black and motivated to help a population base that most often is neglected in this state.

He is a new breed of Alabama politician. We want him to succeed.

That said, Sen. Sessions has a trait that, even in the minority party, is of tremendous value to his state: seniority. He can wrangle funds for the state that newcomer Mr. Davis might find elusive. Mr. Sessions also has enough name recognition and popularity that Mr. Davis probably would not be able to unseat him.

By staying put in the House for a while, Mr. Davis gives Alabama the best possible representation. We keep cash cow Jeff Sessions, but enjoy Mr. Davisí increasingly powerful role in a Democrat-controlled Congress. His appointment to the Ways and Means Committee last month proves his colleagues see the same potential in him that his constituents see.

At 39, Mr. Davis has time for political advancement, either as governor in 2010 or to replace U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, 72, should Mr. Shelby decide against another run for office.

As significant as is his role in the new Congress, Mr. Davis is far from his political peak.

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