Corker Says He Won’t Become a Lobbyist

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) says he has “no idea” what he’ll do once he leaves Congress in January, but he does know one thing his future won’t include: Following the well-worn Washington path from lawmaker to hired-gun lobbyist, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

Said Corker: “You won’t see me around here. I don’t think I’ll be up here. You certainly won’t see me doing any kind of government relations work or anything like that. But, you know, we’ll see what happens.”

Bredesen Tells FBI Campaign Was Hacked

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen’s (D) campaign for U.S. Senate told the FBI that it fears it has been hacked, amid growing concern that candidates in the 2018 election could be targets of cyberattacks, the AP reports.

“The possible hack comes amid warnings from U.S. officials that the 2018 midterm elections could face additional cyber meddling from Russia and others, from both domestic and international sources.”

Trump Aides Made Sure Bob Corker Wouldn’t Run

Washington Post: “Many of President Trump’s political aides made it a priority to ensure that the Tennessean, who has accused the president of ‘debasing’ the country with his ‘untruths’ and ‘name-calling,’ did not reenter the race. So they went straight to the one person with the ability to give Corker a new lease on his political life: Trump himself.”

“They frequently reminded the president of Corker’s criticism, at times even providing specific examples. They kept folders documenting the attacks from Corker and other Trump detractors. They argued that if Trump backed Corker, all that ugliness would receive renewed national attention.”

Corker Sticks with Retirement Decision

“Brushing aside pleas from some of his fellow Republicans, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) hasn’t changed his mind about retirement and won’t seek re-election,” the Tennessean reports.

Politico: “The move ends a period of intense speculation in Tennessee and Washington about Corker’s future and avoids what could have been an ugly primary between Corker and Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn.”

Nervous Republicans Seek New Senate Candidates

“Republicans worried about holding on to their Senate majority are trying to convince three lawmakers to reconsider their decisions and run for the upper chamber,” The Hill reports.

“Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Ann Wagner (R-MO) are being encouraged to launch Senate bids after initially passing on those races, while Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is hearing calls to put off his retirement and run for reelection.”

“The last-minute maneuvering suggests the GOP primary fields may not be settled just eight months before the November midterm elections and highlights an increasing nervousness among Republicans that their Senate majority — once seen as nearly invincible  — may be at risk.”

Trump Doesn’t Want Corker to Run Again

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) “has been reconsidering his decision to retire this year, but Mr. Corker’s hopes for retaining his seat are running into a potentially insurmountable object: President Trump,” the New York Times reports.

“Just over four months after Mr. Corker, upon declaring he would retire, unleashed a biting series of attacks on Mr. Trump, the president is refusing to bless his friend-turned-foe’s effort to re-enter the Republican primary race.”

“Instead, in a telephone conversation last week, Mr. Trump offered encouragement to Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), a conservative lawmaker and White House ally who has emerged as the favorite to win the Republican nomination for Mr. Corker’s seat.”

Corker Listening to GOP Leaders About Running

Retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is “listening” to Republicans urging him to run for reelection, Politico reports, “a development that would quell anxiety among Republicans over losing a must-win seat to Democrats this fall.”

“They want Corker to get back in to hold the seat and preserve waning foreign policy experience in the GOP. And there are signs that he is open to it, despite the steep uphill climb a Republican primary might entail.”

Corker May Be Reconsidering Retirement

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) “has had conversations with a few colleagues in recent days about whether he should reconsider his decision to leave Congress and not seek re-election this year,” CNN reports.

“Whether it is a serious reconsideration, or just chatter with colleagues is the subject of some disagreement. There are also conflicting accounts of whether Corker has initiated the conversations, or whether he has had them with colleagues who are pushing him to think again.”

“But several sources say the issue has come up in recent conversations Corker has had with fellow Tennessean Sen. Lamar Alexander and with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, two of Corker’s friends.”

Democratic Path to Senate Control Just Got Wider

With former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), he hands his party “a conceivable, if extremely narrow, path back to a Senate majority in 2018,” the New York Times reports.

“Democrats are defending 25 Senate seats next year, 10 of them in states that President Trump won. But if Mr. Bredesen can mount a strong campaign, Tennessee would join Nevada and Arizona as states where Republican-held Senate seats could be in jeopardy. Republicans currently have a two-seat majority.”

“A win by Doug Jones, a Democrat, in the Alabama special election on Tuesday would provide a wider path to the majority.”

Bredesen Will Run for Senate In Tennessee

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) is entering the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, the Nashville Post reports.

“According to multiple sources, Bredesen began calling major donors this afternoon to confirm that he is in the race. He has been mum about a campaign since Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) announced he would step down next year, only acknowledging that he was contemplating a run. A formal announcement of his intent to run has not yet been made.”

Too Early to Predict Replacements for Corker and Flake

James Hohmann: “The conventional wisdom is that Corker and Flake will both be replaced by intellectually pliable apparatchiks who will reliably support Trump. This is more likely than not.”

“But the changeover won’t happen for 14 months. Flake and Corker will be in office until January 2019. That’s an eternity in politics. It’s more than enough time to derail some of the more unconservative elements of the Trump agenda. Remember, Republicans only have a two-seat majority in the Senate.”

“Moreover, in this environment, it’s totally plausible that Democrats could pick up the open seats in both Arizona and Tennessee. If you add Nevada, and assume that Democratic incumbents up for reelection in states Trump carried find a way to survive (a big if), the GOP would lose the majority. If Republicans lose the Senate in 2018 — which was inconceivable just a few months ago — they will probably also lose the House. If Trump feels put upon now, he has no clue how miserable the second half of his term would be.”