Tea Party Eyes U.S. Senate Shake-Up

The New York Times is only four months late to this story - Nick Carey at Reuters was way ahead of the game. Jennifer Steinhauser and Jonathan Weisman of The New York Times report:

In Arizona, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas, Republican Senate candidates are vying for the mantle of Tea Party outsider. A number of them say that they would seek to press an agenda that is generally to the right of the minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and that they would demand a deeper policy role for the Senate’s growing circle of staunch conservatives.

Some say they have not decided whether they would support Mr. McConnell, who could find himself contending with the type of fractious rank and file that has vexed the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio.

Mr. McConnell has already made adjustments. He recently enlisted Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a freshman elected with Tea Party backing, to lead efforts to coordinate the Republican messages and agenda in the Senate and the House with the party’s presidential nominee. A spokesman for Mr. McConnell, Don Stewart, said Mr. McConnell was exploring joining Mr. Mourdock on the campaign trail.

But pressure remains. Several Republican freshmen in the Senate — among them Mr. Paul, Mr. Johnson, Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida — under the tutelage of the Tea Party kingmaker Jim DeMint of South Carolina, have laid the groundwork for a more conservative path in the Senate, often throwing their own logs on the fire of gridlock that has seized Congress.

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published this page in In The News 2012-05-13 22:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy