Wednesday, October 11, 2006


VOLuntarilyConservative Endorsement: Bob Corker for United States Senate

Written by Rob Huddleston

As most people in Tennessee Republican circles know, I have been slow to come to the point of endorsing a candidate in the race for Bill Frist's seat in the United States Senate. Leading up to the GOP Primary over two months ago, I stated that I would not support Bob Corker if he was the Republican nominee. A few conservatives joined me in that position, most of them supporters of Ed Bryant in the draining 21-month primary. Others immediately supported the Republican nominee out of party loyalty, and that is their prerogative.

A funny thing happened shortly after the primary, though. Bob Corker reached out to us. In my case, he delayed a needed family vacation shortly after the primary to come to Knoxville and meet with me for lunch. Say what you want, but sacrificing some time relaxing in a tropical locale to instead be grilled by a guy who has questioned your conservative credentials for the better part of two years speaks volumes to me about the kind of man that Bob Corker is.

Since August, others in Republican circles have pushed me for details about our conversation that day. I will share some of that in this endorsement, but many details were primary campaign related and frankly not relevant at this time.

I will say that we discussed many issues on the minds of conservative voters - abortion, stem cell research, the judiciary, the Second Amendment, hunting, illegal immigration, and tax reform. We may not agree on every detail of every issue, but Bob Corker was able to explain his reasoning for his positions clearly and concisely.

Since that time, I have weighed what Bob said that day. He provided me with his cellphone number and invited questions at any time, which is also something that I did not expect. We have talked many times since, and these conversations have gone a long way in the issuance of this endorsement.

I told those close to me that I would not make any endorsement in this race unless I was 100% comfortable with my candidate of choice. I obviously am uncomfortable with the Democratic nominee, who believes he can provide nuanced answers to questions when it may be more accurate to say that he is a compulsive liar. I exchanged e-mails with Bo Hayward, the independent conservative in this race. I like Bo, and I suspect that a few conservatives may vote for him in November. How few may determine the winner of this race. However, even Bo and I differ on a few key issues.

Since the August primary, Bob Corker has gone out of his way to court conservative voters. He has opened up his campaign to allow us time to seek out his brand of conservatism. He has convinced this conservative that he is the right choice on the November ballot.

One way that Bob was able to do this was through his position against stem cell research. Bob knows that most Americans are for government funding of this program. However, most Americans haven't come close to completing the research that Bob saw as a priority before making his decision about whether to support or fight this program. Bob went to labs in Missouri, spoke with interest groups on both sides of the issue, and visited scientists to find out what was really occurring and what the actual prospects for medical success were. Despite the political reality that this issue may cost him votes, Bob Corker came out against stem cell research.

For this voter, that decision (along with National Right to Life's endorsement) also reinforces Bob's vehement claims to be pro-life. As I have consistently stated, I will not support any pro-abortion candidate. After the past few months getting to know Bob Corker, I am convinced that he will be a vote for pro-life Tennesseans in Washington, D.C.

I plan to write more in the coming weeks about my candidate for the U.S. Senate, Bob Corker. I invite you to read these posts, be engaged in this important race, and choose which candidate you feel will support your views in the U.S. Senate.

That is what I did, and I am glad to have chosen Bob Corker, Tennessee's next United States Senator.

Well, I was never "reached out" to...

While I am glad Corker has taken a public position against embryonic stem cell research, people who believe in something sound passionate about it.

I have yet to hear Bob Corker sound passionate about anything...he says the right things, but he has yet to SOUND..deep in the voice, deep in the if he believes what he says.

He has done a respectable job explaining to Tennesseans up to this point why they should not choose Harold Ford, but has provided few good reasons to choose him other than "I am not Ford."

I want more as a voter, as a conservative, as a Republican. Tennesseans deserve more. I want Bob Corker to give us more.
It takes a strong and mature person to evolve in thought. Harold Ford is an abomination and any vote for anyone but Bob Corker or an empty ballot, well intended to make a statement for either Ed Bryant or Van Hilleary, elects Harold Ford.

Ford must lose. That is the bottom line. There is nothing hypocritical about a good conservative opposing one of the most liberal congressmen in the United States. Ford must lose!
Oh Rob! (In my best Laura Petree voice)

Bob is saying what you want to hear (like a lot of politicians do) but you're going to see him vote pro stem cell if elected. (Which I am for) As a liberal, it won't upset me if Corker ends up in the Senate because Corker will move back over to the middle.

I thought you'd hold out. You endorsing Corker would be like me endorsing Bredesen.
I am not going to label anybody a hypocrit for supporting the nominee of our Party. Some very good people (including Rob and Vance) have chosen, for some very good reasons, to make a public endorsement of Bob Corker.

My conscience just won't let me do that at this point, gentlemen. Right now it isn't an Ed Bryant thing anymore, it is an Oatney has to stand before God thing. What am I supposed to do when I believe in my heart that neither man deserves to be in the Senate. If one of you can explain this in a way that reconciles that with my conscience, I am open to hearing it.
Rob - You sell out! (just kidding)

I know how much we both put into Ed's campaign, but supporting Corker is both the right thing to do and what Ed would want his supporters to do. Senator Harold Ford, Jr. is UNACCEPTABLE.
Sharon -

"You endorsing Corker would be like me endorsing Bredesen."

OK, I have to disagree with you there. Bob has done nothing against me or anyone I know. In fact, he has reached out to me.

Phil Bredesen, as we all know, has mismanaged TennCare to the detriment and (arguably) to the death of people you know.

The situations seem a bit different to me.


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