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.”

Blackburn Will Run for Senate In Tennessee

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) “is entering the 2018 U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker, ending a week’s worth of speculation and immediately catapulting her to front-runner status as others consider launching their own bids,” the Tennessean reports.

Axios: “Blackburn continues a trend of conservative, anti-establishment Republicans hoping to claim a Senate seat.”

Corker Mulls Whether to Retire in 2018

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), “the influential chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee who was once considered for a spot in President Trump’s Cabinet, is weighing whether to call it quits next year,” CNN reports.

Said Corker: “As far as what am I going to do in the future, I’m still contemplating the future. It’s a tremendous privilege to do what I do, and to weigh in on the big issues. … But I have not decided what I’m going to do in the future.”