Saturday, January 17, 2009

Profile: Bob Corker in 2012

Contender: Tennessee Senator Bob Corker

Official Site

Wikipedia Page

2008 National Journal Ranking: 27th most conservative

Why he's important: Sashayed into the Detroit Auto Show after smiting the UAW every step of the way on the bailout bill, and didn't back down on his "tough love".

That's like a Jew walking into a Hamas meeting and quoting "Jacob have I loved; Esau have I hated".

And the thing is: Detroit couldn't get enough of this guy. They badgered him every step of the way, but ultimately, unleashed a stream of articles reluctantly praising him for using those giant walnuts to make the trip north.

Ideology: To the right. He's pro-life, but a recent convert to the cause. In 1994, he ran for Senate as a pro-choice candidate, but switched positions in 2006 and received the National Right to Life committee's endorsement. Corker advocates off-shore drilling to increase petroleum reserves. He's a deficit hawk, and actually opposed President Bush's tax rebate stimulus plan, on the grounds it wouldn't stimulate the economy enough to justify its expense. He favors reducing taxation, regulation and litigation on corporations. And, of course, he famously opposed the auto bailout, since the UAW would not concede to competitive wages by 2009. He's strongly free-trade, supports the Second Amendment, has encouraged health savings accounts, and has voted no on comprehensive immigration reform. As of 2007, he's voted with the Republican party 89.2% of the time, 8% more than the avg. Republican.

[For more see, On the Issues, Bob Corker]

Why he can win: He's got star quality. As a junior Senator, he grabbed the spotlight during the auto bailout hearings and hasn't stepped out of it.

He's also got an exceptional gift for soundbites, often making his mark with attention-grabbing emotional word pictures that are nevertheless softened by his easy southern demeanor.

His best shot lies in an economic collapse. With his increasing visibility on fiscal issues, he could present himself as the non-Mormon alternative to Mitt Romney.

Why he can't win: He could lose the entire Midwest, 95-5%.

Michigan is so far out of reach it makes Ellen Degeneres look in.

Union busting isn't popular in the Midwest, and winning the Presidency without the Midwest isn't possible.

He rubbed more than a few the wrong way in his run for Senate, producing some questionable ads that could be used against him.

Auto bailout aside, his fiscal record has been only moderately conservative (see National Journal rating above), and his independent streak would anger GOP special interests.

For more GOP 12 Candidate Profiles...

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
South Dakota Senator John Thune
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson
Florida Governor Charlie Crist
Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor
Former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne
South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint

More coming soon...


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