Notes on Lamar and Other Tennesseans at GOP Convention

Alexander: GOP Dominance Can Be a Problem
Sen. Lamar Alexander told reporters at the Republican National Convention that he fears the party that put Howard Baker, Bill Frist and himself into the Senate — and the national spotlight — could become complacent if it does not push itself to remain open to a variety of people. More from Chas Sisk:
“I don’t see any signs of it yet, but entrenched success breeds vulnerability, so we have to be on our toes and keep an open door and continue to recruit good candidates,” he said. “We have to have a variety of thinking — not trying to turn everybody to a single point of view.”
Alexander gave similar advice in a lunchtime speech to the Tennessee delegation to the convention. Among other things, he recommended keeping the Republican primary open to all voters
A Laughing With Lamar
Sen. Lamar Alexander, answering a question about the Republican party’s platform (as reported in a Bart Sullivan notebook):
“The platform is a repository for a variety of ideas from a broad spectrum of the Republican Party, and that’s a good place for those ideas.”
Then he, and everyone in the room, roared with laughter.
“I think I’m elected to pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and I’ll certainly show respect for the ideas in the platform, but I have my own views,” he said.
…Of one provision, Alexander was more specifically critical. “Sometimes these Audit-the-Fed bills turn into ‘substitute the Congress for the Federal Reserve Board.’ I can’t think of any organization in the country I’d trust less with holding down inflation than the United States Congress.”

And, on Sen. Bob Corker having a Democratic opponent disavowed by his own party:
“I stay up late at night worrying about whether he’s going to be sitting next to me next year,” Alexander joked. Then, turning serious, he said: “I think it’s a testament to the fact he’s done such a heck of a good job … Democrats can’t even work up enough sweat to find a candidate to run against him.”
Santorum to Tennesseans: Go to N.C
Comparing Obama to an emperor while discoursing on the French Revolution, Rick Santorum asked Tennessee delegates to join his Patriot Voices group to campaign for Republican nominee Mitt Romney in North Carolina, reports the Tennessean. The former Romney foe said he is recruiting volunteers around the country for his organization to work in five states that could determine the outcome of the November election.
“North Carolina is just off red,” he said, referring to the color often used by political analysts to designate a Republican-leaning state. “It needs some good work from folks from Tennessee. You guys talk like people from North Carolina. It’s easy for you to go over there as covert North Carolinians.”
Santorum’s plea for aid followed a brief address in which he outlined his views on the roots of American government and differences between the American and French revolutions.
Santorum said that because French revolutionaries did not recognize God in their founding documents, they ultimately let democratic principles give way to political executions and dictatorship.

TN Delegates Optimistic at End
Michael Collins has quotes from several Tennessee delegates on the end of the convention. A sample:
While most polls show the contest dead even as it enters the final stretch, delegate Randy Boyd of Knoxville said the Romney team has effectively used a campaign strategy that calls to mind the rope-a-dope boxing tactic often associated with Muhammad Ali.
The idea is to trick your opponent into thinking you’re in trouble so he’ll keep throwing punches and wear himself out.
“In the last three rounds,” Boyd said, “we’ve sat in the corner and taken punch after punch after punch. The other guy has worn himself out. And now, all of a sudden, we’re going into the last rounds and we’re fresh and have more resources, more energy, and we’re even on the balance. What a great position to be in.”

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