News and Events
Introducing You Might be Right
Former Tennessee Governors Bredesen, Haslam host a podcast featuring civil conversations about tough topics
Welcome to You Might be Right, a new podcast co-hosted by former Tennessee Governors Phil Bredesen and Bill Haslam from the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee.
You Might be Right takes its name from one of Senator Baker’s most often-cited pieces of advice: always keep in mind that the other fellow might be right. As Senator Baker explained in a 2010 event with former President Jimmy Carter:
“In politics, the competition for ideas, the competition for the right to serve, is fundamental and it is political. But it must be accompanied by a decent respect for the other fellow’s point of view. Because if you don’t do that, the whole system falls, it collapses, if you don’t admit that the other person may be right from time to time.”
In an effort to bring Baker-style civility and public policy debate back into fashion, each episode of You Might be Right will tackle a tough topic like gun violence, climate change, and the national debt and feature conversations between Governors Bredesen and Haslam and guests with differing viewpoints including Paul Ryan, Al Gore, Erskine Bowles, Nancy Ann DeParle, and Arne Duncan.
The Great Conciliator
The late Howard Baker served as U.S. senator, Senate Majority Leader, White House chief of staff, and U.S. ambassador to Japan. Senator Baker was often described as the great conciliator and one of the last great statesmen. He was known for his ability to cross party lines, listen, and find solutions to difficult issues.
But while he was known for his willingness to work across the aisle, Baker never forgot the other side of his saying, either—that sometimes the other fellow might not be right.
“I’m not one who believes that bipartisanship is always the right thing,” Baker told a 2010 crowd. “Partisanship is the way we test ideas, but partisanship must not be so arbitrary and so firm that you never admit of other ideas and don’t at least listen to the other fellow’s point of view.”
Baker’s leadership resulted in landmark legislation, including the Panama Canal Treaty, and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.
Listen to Learn
In each episode of You Might be Right, Governors Bredesen and Haslam call on their own experiences as former mayors, governors, and businessmen as well as the expertise of their expert guests to discuss difficult topics in the civil manner that Senator Baker was known for. The governors also ask their guests to share a story about a time they had their own “you might be right” moment, and the responses are moving, funny, honest, and inspiring.
While these conversations may never fully change their minds – or the listeners’ – on a given issue, the hope is that as Sen. Baker so often did, you will listen to learn and that you might hear a point or perspective different from your own and think, at least once, “you might be right.”
Subscribe and follow You Might be Right wherever you get your audio content – including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher—to never miss an episode, or sign up for our email list to receive new episodes straight to your inbox each week here.