The Daily Pulse:

Lamar Gets a Tea Party Challenger; Burchett Not Ruling Out Running Yet

This morning on a Nashville radio show, state Rep. Joe Carr of Rutherford County announced that he was dropping his bid to challenge U.S. Rep. Scott DeJarlais in 2014 and would instead be challenging U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander. Did this have anything to do with getting killed in the fundraising so far by the other DesJarlais challenger, state Sen. Jim Tracy? No, Carr said, it's because "'literally hundreds' of people urged him to do."

Pardon us if we take Carr's statement with quite a few grains of salt. In the same interview, Carr also said, "So many conservatives like myself were literally gut shot over the fact that President Obama was re-elected." That's literally untrue, so you know, "literally hundreds" could mean three or four dudes. Then Carr kind of compared his run to the Alamo:

Tennessee has a long and storied history of leading the nation when it comes to, if it's right, we're going to be the first to fight. Whether it's the battle of New Orleans with Andrew Jackson, or the Alamo with Davy Crockett and Sam Houston, we have that history. 

Does this mean Carr is prepared to die fighting against Lamar? Does it mean he wants to kill Mexicans (because it seems like immigration is going to be a big part of his campaign)? We are honestly so confused. 

In any case, the Tea Party folks will surely be happy they have someone to run against Lamar. But Carr might not be the only candidate to run. There's been a lot of chatter lately about Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett getting in the race, so we called him up to see if Carr's announcement had changed his thinking at all. Burchett says it hasn't.

"It's just too early to say right now," Burchett says. "It's still over a year out. In politics anything can happen in that kind of time."

He's right, of course -- just look at the NYC mayoral race -- but there's one thing that won't be happening to change the tenor of the race: Lamar is not stepping down. In an editorial in the Tennesseean this morning, the senior senator from Tennessee criticizes the Tea Party conservatives (without actually calling them out by name):

Well, I learned to count in Maryville City Schools. So I know that if you only have 45 votes and you need 60 senators to get something important done like balancing the budget and fixing the debt, then you have to work with other people -- that is, IF you really care about solving the problem, IF you really want to get a result, instead of just making a speech.

That's why I believe that one good way to put our country on the right track is to send to Washington a conservative, problem-solving former governor who worked well with others to get the results that put our state on the right track.

And why, if the people of Tennessee will allow it, I'd rather continue to serve in the United States Senate.

The rest of the opinion piece is this kind of weird union-busting rant, but whatever -- we'll still take Lamar over Carr any day, if solely because the former doesn't have one of the genuinely creepiest goatees we've ever seen. And for those who'd prefer an actual liberal to run? Well, stay tuned. This morning also brought news of the "Run Sara Run" PAC, intended to help draft Democrat Sara Kyle into the race. 

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