U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he couldn't hang around Thursday for a scheduled meeting with Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court.

Sen. Corker told attendees at a Tennessee Press Association breakfast that the judge was 10 minutes late for her meeting with him, and he didn't have 10 minutes to spare.

"I decided to proceed on to the next meeting," he said.

Sen. Corker also responded to a question about President George W. Bush's deficit spending, saying Mr. Bush was "absolutely not fiscally sound in his leadership." He said the former president is a "good-hearted person" and has his respect, but theorized that criticism about the government's handling of Hurricane Katrina pressured Mr. Bush to open the nation's purse strings.

"It sent him over the edge," Sen. Corker said.

ribbin' WAMP

The bloggers at were having a little fun this week at Rep. Zach Wamp's expense.

They're asking readers to submit their own captions to a photo of Rep. Wamp, R-Tenn., at a recent Washington Nationals baseball game. In the photo, he's being shown on the stadium scoreboard, with ads for Miller Lite and Coca-Cola on either side of the screen.

One of the submitted captions reads: "This isn't the first time I've been lit up between a Miller Lite and some Coke."

Rep. Wamp has admitted to past cocaine use.

corker tries to pull back tarp

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., joined with Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia to introduce a bill meant to get the federal government out of bailout-assisted banks, according to a news release.

The bill would give banks a "responsible exit strategy from government ownership," the release states, by making any government ownership stake of more than 20 percent in a private company into a limited liability corporation. The assets would then be managed by independent trustees, who would be tasked with liquidating government interest by December 2011.

"Clearly, a majority of Americans believe the private markets would do a better job of determining a company's success or failure," Sen. Corker said. "The government should exit ownership as quickly as is responsible to protect taxpayer investment."

candidates announce campaign events

Summer campaigning for the 2010 election is in full swing.

On Monday, Mike McWherter, son of former Tennessee Gov. Ned McWherter, asked in an e-mail for monetary support in his campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the seat his father held from 1987 to 1995.

"At this early critical juncture in the campaign season, more than anything, I need your help to secure the Democratic nomination and win the general election," he stated in the e-mail.

* U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., a candidate for Georgia's governor, will hold a barbecue in Ringgold Monday at Alvin and Pat Worley's Outback, according to an e-mail invitation.

* Chattanooga attorney Chuck Fleischmann, who is seeking the GOP nomination for Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District seat, will officially kick off his campaign Tuesday at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, according to a news release.

* Greg Goodwin, a Republican also running for U.S. Congress in Tennessee's 3rd District, was scheduled to speak Tuesday at a campaign event at Ryan's steakhouse on Lee Highway.

twitter updates

Twitter is a social networking tool politicians often use to send updates to supporters. Here's what some local and state officials were saying this week.

* State Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, Monday: "Heading to Nashville today with hope that Session is almost done and enough clothes to last to the weekend"

* Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, GOP gubernatorial candidate, Tuesday: "Kicking off fundraising swing through East Tennessee"

* Former state Rep. Kim McMillan, D-Clarksville, Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Tuesday: "It's really important to have a legislative record when running for Governor."

* Rep. Wamp, GOP gubernatorial candidate, Thursday: "10th ammdt has been run over long enough. States should not be pawns of fed govt. Tennessee priorities unique. State sovereignty important!"