What Next for Conservatives? For Lessons, Look to Lamar

Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, speaks during a hearing on efforts to get back to work and school during the coronavirus in Washington, D.C., June 30, 2020. (Al Drago/Pool via Reuters)
An insider’s account of how the Senate’s ‘master legislator’ survived and thrived in a red state and a raucous conservative movement.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W ashington, D.C., was on the brink of doing something it never does: Give up power. First, Lamar Alexander had to get through the Obama administration.

Tennessee’s Republican senator was deep in negotiations with Senator Patty Murray (D., Wash.) to fix No Child Left Behind, the sweeping Bush-era education law that had enraged conservatives as President Barack Obama’s administration used its unworkable mandates to press states into yet more mandates, including Common Core. Then came word that would have sent some Republicans into attack mode: The president wanted a meeting. Whispers of a veto threat were in the air.

Alexander just smiled.

“I was

Brian Reisinger is a writer and conservative operative who has served as spokesman for U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Ron Johnson and for former governor Scott Walker. He currently serves as president and chief operating officer of Platform Communications, a Midwestern-based strategic-communications firm.


The Latest