Back in September, Tennessee Senator and general jellyfish Bob Corker announced he was retiring from the U.S. Senate and would not seek reelection in 2018. This was a good thing. Corker is one of the battalion of empty suits in the Senate we need to shed. His dishonesty and duplicity in shepherding Obama’s Iran nuclear deal through as–well, we really don’t know what it is because it isn’t a treaty and the State Department says it isn’t an executive agreement–should have been enough to shame him from public life.
He’s had a testy relationship with President Trump but, shortly before he announced his retirement Trump asked him to run for a third term.
Corker has been dithering in a very Corker-like way and today he made the decision final:
A top aide to the Republican said Tuesday that Corker considered jumping back into the race for the seat but has decided against reversing that decision.
“Over the past several months, Senator Corker has been encouraged by people across Tennessee and in the Senate to reconsider his decision not to seek re-election,” Todd Womack, Corker’s chief of staff, said in a statement. “Based on the outpouring of support, we spent the last few days doing our due diligence and a clear path for re-election was laid out.”
“However, at the end of the day, the senator believes he made the right decision in September and will be leaving the Senate when his term expires at the end of 2018,” Womack said.
Corker was looking at a bruising primary, but with most of the primary opponents lining up to his right, it seemed feasible that he could survive. But over the past several months, conservative opposition has coalesced around Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn. In a head-to-head primary race, Blackburn would have to be a favorite. Had he survived the primary, he trailed his likely opponent, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. He also trailed Marsha Blackburn in favorability ratings. In short, it was going to be very tough to get the nomination and it was going to be much harder to get re-elected after the kind of primary he was going to have.
Corker bowing out and leaving Blackburn to lead a unified GOP makes keeping that seat much more likely.
To quote Malcolm from Macbeth: “Nothing in his life. Became him like the leaving it.”
Nothing in Bob Corker’s Senate career has so become him like the leaving of it.