Two former Tennessee U.S. senators attend 2015 swearing-in ceremonies, 3 do not

Lamar Alexander says he invited five former U.S. senators from Tennessee — three Republicans and two Democrats — to attend swearing-in ceremonies for himself and Bob Corker as they began their new terms. Republicans Bill Brock and Bill Frist showed up. The two Democrats — Al Gore and Jim Sasser — did not. Former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson also didn’t make it.

From Michael Collins’ report:

Alexander said he extended the invitation to call attention to “the exceptional service we’ve had (in Tennessee) from so many United States senators in Washington.”

Also, “these are good friends,” Alexander said. “The Senate is a place of friendships, relations and traditions. And I thought it would be great for the former majority leader (Frist) to come back and for everyone to have a chance to visit with him. Bill Brock really was a pioneer in our Tennessee Republican Party.”

Brock, who served one Senate term in the 1970s and then went on to serve in President Ronald Reagan’s administration as trade representative and then labor secretary, said the recent dysfunction that has paralyzed the Senate needs to end.

“The Senate has had a couple of tough years,” he said. “I expect it to get a lot better.”