The governor alluded to zoning controversies surrounding the construction, saying "This is a room with a somewhat difficult birth. The result has been more than worth it. I would make the point to everybody as (First Lady) Andrea (Conte) always does that despite some of the controversy when you went through the glass doors out there everything you've seen since then is entirely privately financed. When you go through those doors you are back on public property."
Then the governor took a victory lap pointing out, "I really believe that for a long time to come governors are going to be able to use this hall to great advantage for the state. I honestly think this has turned out beautifully and is infinitely better than standing in a tent with the cold air drifting in and space heaters and ground underneath."
Addressing members of the Fourth Estate who follow him the most closely he said, "Most of all, for everybody around this room, we've had some kind of relationship with over the years. For my part I certainly have enjoyed very, very much the give and take with the media. It's been challenging but one of the fun things about a job like this.different than what you deal with in the private sector. I've really enjoyed it.
"Thank you all for your friendship over the years. Thank you for being here this evening. Please enjoy the evening. If you get a chance to come around and talk to you. Most of all, a very Merry Christmas or Holidays to you, to your families, to your loved ones. Please travel safely though this time starting with your ride home tonight."
Gov. Phil Bredesen welcomed the media to a Christmas Party just for them.