by Jeff Woods
Tea partiers think Lamar Alexander's weak-kneed on Obamacare for refusing to join Sen. Ted Cruz's quixotic attempt to defund it. So Lamar's out with this radio ad to prove to the world how much he despises the national health care law. Hear the fierce Lamar slap down the president at a White House health care summit. Does this mean tea partiers don't care about the freedom to fish?
We warned you this was coming now that state Rep. Joe Carr has jumped into the Republican primary to challenge Lamar. How much does Alexander hate the president? He's about to show us. The respected senior senator might as well put on that Obama mask and grab that broomstick now and get it over with.
But since Carr's announcement last week, opinions in the media vary over whether Alexander should worry. Gail Kerr thinks "no one except the truly politically naive believes Carr can possibly beat the popular former governor and presidential candidate." But Tom Humphrey, who is jaded but not naive, believes it. It depends on whether Carr can keep it a one-on-one contest, as Humphrey points out in his rambling Sunday column:
Tennessee conservatives have been cursed in three-way contests in recent Republican primaries. In fact, the last head-to-head, moderate-conservative clash was back in 2002, when Alexander won his first Senate term over U.S. Rep. Ed Bryant with 53.8 percent of the vote. Arguably, the state has become more conservative since then.
Bob Corker won his Senate primary in 2006 with fewer votes than the combined total of his two opponents, both of whom declared themselves far more conservative than he. Bill Haslam did the same in his 2010 gubernatorial primary.
A conservative-inclined majority among GOP voters is one of the ingredients in the recipe for upsetting an alleged moderate Republican. Is that the case in Tennessee? Maybe we’ll find out.