Cooper: Blackburn earns shot at Senate

Cooper: Blackburn earns shot at Senate

July 12th, 2018 by Clint Cooper in Opinion Free Press

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate, speaks beside President Donald Trump during a May rally in Nashville.

Photo by Mark Humphrey

U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn sits down with the Times Free Press editorial staff Pam Sohn Clint Cooper Ron Hart and Lesley Dale for an interview.

Posted by Chattanooga Times Free Press on Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker suggested when he was running for the United States Senate in 2006 that he couldn't imagine serving for more than two terms.

Last fall, perhaps frustrated after dust-ups with President Donald Trump and perhaps irritated with the Senate's inability to tackle nondiscretionary spending seriously, he said two terms indeed would be fine with him. After a brief reconsideration of his decision early in the year, he made his decision to exit the Senate final.

While he may have angered conservatives in Tennessee by going toe to toe with the president on several issues, we will miss much about his service — his clear-eyed chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in such a volatile world, his repeated warnings about heaping debt on future generation, his adoption of modern slavery as an issue and his status as a non-ideologue in a body of burgeoning Democratic and Republican ideologues.

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood, is not Bob Corker, but she will make an excellent senator. We endorse her candidacy in the upcoming Republican primary next month and in early voting beginning tomorrow. She has only one primary opponent, Aaron Pettigrew, a Murfreesboro over-the-road truck driver.

The eight-term representative is no stranger to Washington or to politics. Before being elected to Congress in 2002, she was a state senator for four years.

In Nashville in 2000, Blackburn helped lead a successful grassroots campaign against the state income tax suggested by Republican Gov. Don Sundquist.

In Washington, where she was the first women elected to Congress from the state who was not a stand-in for her husband, she rose quickly to become an assistant whip and then a deputy whip for Republicans. She also is the communications chairman — she prefers that term to chairwoman — of the National Republican Congressional Committee and is the former communications chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

Blackburn is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the subcommittees of Communications and the Internet, where she is chairman; Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, where she is vice chairman; Health Care; and Oversight and Investigation.

She also is chairman of the Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood, where she exposed the organization — and several others — for its involvement in the baby parts trade. She has a 100 percent pro-life voting record and has sponsored and co-sponsored various pro-life bills, so she is likely to be a fall target of heavy spending by pro-abortion groups. Her burgeoning Senate campaign got national exposure last October when Twitter removed one of her campaign ads that referenced "baby body parts," and later restored it.

Around the same time, Blackburn described herself as a "hard-core, card-carrying Tennessee conservative" and as "politically incorrect," and proudly noted that liberals have characterized her as a "wing nut."

So, for Tennesseans who want their senator to be closer to Trump than Corker is, she fits the bill. For those who prefer Corker's pragmatism, we believe the Senate has a way of making its members more deliberative, though we wouldn't want her to lose her conservative bona fides.

Blackburn, 66, is likely to face former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen, 74, in November.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315
Email: webeditor@timesfreepress.com


Loading...