Steven Hale looks for a difference  in Jeff Yarbro and Mary Mancini and finds one of approach, not politics:
Take perhaps the biggest policy question facing the state as a whole right now: whether to expand Medicaid or to embrace Gov. Bill Haslam's nebulous Tennessee Plan — the details of which remain a mystery to Tennesseans, state legislators and apparently even the federal government. Yarbro says he's optimistic that expansion can happen in some form, if elected Democrats work effectively in the current political environment.
"It's not compromising the values of Medicaid expansion, it's looking for the right way for Tennessee to do it," he says.
Mancini rejects the notion that the two approaches — working with the majority or rallying to oppose them — are mutually exclusive. It's a matter of picking one's spots, she says. But there's no missing the rallying-cry tone in her voice.
"The issue is, when do you take a stand on Democratic values, and when do you work with the other side?" Mancini says. "My best way of explaining it is, at this point what Democrats need to do is to stop allowing Republicans to define what the conversation is, what we talk about, what our values are.
"As long as we have Republicans like Mae Beavers, and Stacey Campfield, and Brian Kelsey, and Ron Ramsey sort of dominating the conversation and dictating what the conversation is, then I'm not running to work with them, I'm running to stop them. Because their values and their priorities are not the values and the priorities of working people, they're not the values and priorities of small business. They're the values and priorities of special interests and large corporations."
When it comes to working with Republicans toward some form of Medicare expansion, or simply decrying their stance on the issue as loudly as possible, Mancini says, "There's actually a third part of that equation that everybody forgets about — and that's people."
Recalling her experience as an organizer, Mancini says getting people involved so that they "advocate on their own behalf" will go further than "horse-trading with Republicans."
"They're not going to move on that issue," she says. "To them, expanding Medicaid is a political football, and they are continuing to use it as political football. The only way that we're going to get them to listen is for constituents to stand up and say, 'Stop with the politics.' "