Having sufficiently stressed his conservative credentials to stave off a Tea-Party challenge from his right, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is looking now to win support among moderate liberals and centrists.
The two-term incumbent has released what he hopes will be a growing list of endorsements he’s picked up from the ranks of Democrats and independents.
Included in what he’s calling “Tennesseans for Alexander” are Democratic notables like former U.S. Rep. John Tanner and the longest-serving member of the Tennessee General Assembly, state Sen. Douglas Henry.
Also on the list are several current or former mayors, as well as former University of Tennessee Football Coach Johnny Majors and Rochelle Stevens, an Olympic gold medalist.
Alexander’s Tea Party-backed primary opponent, state Rep. Joe Carr, criticized Alexander as being too moderate.
During his campaign Alexander did his best to highlight his conservative endorsements and credentials, as well as his opposition to President Barack Obama‘s policies.
Now, though, Alexander looks to be shifting toward his “consensus-building politics” mode.
Not everybody who bought into Alexander before is buying in this time, though.
Alexander’s Democratic opponent in the November general election, Gordon Ball, a Knoxville attorney, has previously allowed his name to appear on a “Tennesseans for Alexander” list, a decision that Ball now calls “a huge mistake.”