Lamar Alexander Takes On Tea Party In TN Reelect
As reported in today’s Washington Post, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander is taking on the tea party frontally in his re-election campaign, and it’s a smart formula that will work for him. While, on the one hand, he’s co-opting tea party anti-Obamacare messaging by consistently attacking the program, Alexander confidently showcases his authenticity and long record in Tennessee as a bipartisan problem solver.
Alexander is in touch with who he is: a pragmatic moderate to conservative Republican who has remained consistent throughout his lengthy tenure as a Governor and U.S. Senator. Running away from that record, and pretending to be someone he’s not is a non-starter, and remaining true to his governmental philosophy is admirable in the face of so many Republicans running scared in primaries.
Yes, Alexander has more leeway to question Tea Party orthodoxy because his opponent, State Rep. Joe Carr, is vastly underfunded. But it’s also a strategy that will end up working for Alexander in a state whose political culture embraces a more collegial, compromising political modus operandi.