What it’s like to be endorsed by Taylor Swift

Phil Bredesen wasn’t expecting it in his wildest dreams.

It was a Sunday night in October, about a month out from the 2018 Senate election in Tennessee that had him locked in an uphill battle against then-Rep. Marsha Blackburn, and he and some of his campaign staff had just left a debate-prep session when the text came in.

A friend had messaged Bredesen’s communications director, Laura Zapata.

“She was like, ‘Congratulations for getting the Taylor Swift endorsement.’ And we were absolutely surprised — all of us on the campaign were surprised — when she posted,” Zapata told POLITICO. She called Bredesen and the rest of the team to share the good news.

Bredesen was familiar with the wildly popular country-singer-turned-pop-sensation who spent a chunk of her childhood in Nashville, where Bredesen once served as mayor. “I had met her a couple of times at events way back when I was governor,” he told POLITICO.

But they hadn’t talked in years and the endorsement — Swift’s first public foray into politics — came

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