Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

Infobox Senator | name=Lamar Alexander

jr/sr=Senior Senator
term_start=January 7, 2003
alongside=Bob Corker
preceded=Fred Thompson
office2=United States Secretary of Education
term_start2=March 22, 1991
term_end2=January 20, 1993
president2=George H.W. Bush
predecessor2=Lauro Cavazos
successor2=Richard Riley
office3=Governor of Tennessee
term_start3=January 16, 1979
term_end3=January 17, 1987
lieutenant3= John S. Wilder
predecessor3= Ray Blanton
successor3= Ned McWherter
birth_date = birth date and age|1940|07|3
birth_place = Maryville, Tennessee
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = American
spouse = Honey Alexander
party = Republican
relations =
children = 4
residence = Nashville, Tennessee
alma_mater = Vanderbilt University (1962)
New York University School of Law (1965)
occupation =
profession = Attorney
religion = Presbyterian

website =
footnotes =

Andrew Lamar Alexander (born July 3, 1940) is the senior United States Senator from Tennessee and a member of the Republican Party. He was previously the 45th Governor of Tennessee from 1979 to 1987, U.S. Secretary of Education from 1991 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush and candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000.

Early and Personal Life

Alexander was born in Maryville, Tennessee (outside of Knoxville), where he was raised, to Genevra Floreine Rankin and Andrew Lamar Alexander. [ [ 1 ] ] In high school he was elected Governor of Tennessee Boys State. Alexander graduated with a B.A. from Vanderbilt University where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Chi Fraternity in 1962 and from the New York University School of Law in 1965. After graduating from law school, Alexander clerked for United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit judge John Minor Wisdom in New Orleans from 1965 to 1966. [ Lamar Alexander (1991 - 1993): Secretary of Education] , Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia.]

In 1969 Alexander married Leslee "Honey" Buhler, who grew up in Victoria, Texas. [ [ Honey Alexander's Biography] , U.S. Senate site] They had met during a softball game for Senate staff members; he was then a staffer for Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee while she worked for Senator John Tower of Texas. Together they have four children: Drew, Leslee, Kathryn, and Will.

He is also a classical and country pianist. Alexander got to put these talents on display in April 2007 when he played piano on singer Patti Page's re-recording of her 1950 hit "Tennessee Waltz." He appeared on the record, due out for release in the summer of 2007, at the invitation of record executive Mike Curb. Alexander and Page then performed the song live at an April 4 fundraiser for his Senatorial re-election campaign in Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center. [cite news |title=Songbird, senator team up on "Waltz"|url=|work=The Tennessean|publisher= |date=2007-04-03 |accessdate=2007-04-09 ] .

Political career

In 1967, Alexander worked as a legislative assistant for Senator Howard Baker. While a staffer, he was briefly roommates with future U.S. Senator Trent Lott. In 1969, he worked for Bryce Harlow, President Nixon's executive assistant. In 1970 he moved back to Tennessee, serving as campaign manager for Memphis dentist Winfield Dunn's successful gubernatorial bid.

Thanks to his successful tenure as Dunn's campaign manager, Alexander received the Republican nomination for governor of Tennessee in 1974. He faced Democrat Ray Blanton, a former congressman and unsuccessful 1972 Senate candidate. Blanton attacked Alexander for his service under Nixon, who had resigned in disgrace several months earlier. He also portrayed Alexander as being too distant from average Tennesseans, even though Alexander was the son of teachers. Blanton would win the election 56%-44%.

In 1974 TIME magazine named Alexander one of the "200 Faces of the Future" [ [,9171,879402-2,00.html 200 Faces for the Future - TIME ] ] .

In 1977, Alexander once again worked in Senator Baker's Washington office following Baker's election as Senate Minority Leader.

Governor of Tennessee

Even though the Tennessee State Constitution had been amended in early 1978 to allow a governor to succeed himself, Blanton chose not to seek re-election, due to a number of scandals. Alexander once again ran for governor, and made a name for himself by walking convert|1000|mi|km across the state wearing a red and black plaid shirt. He defeated Knoxville banker Jake Butcher in the November election.

In early 1979, a furor ensued over pardons made by Blanton that appeared to be made out of pure politics; some of them smacked of bribery. Since the state constitution is somewhat vague on when a governor must be sworn in, several political leaders from both parties, including Lieutenant Governor John S. Wilder and State House Speaker Ned McWherter, arranged for Alexander to be sworn in three days earlier than the traditional inauguration day. [ [ Pardon Abuse: Deja Vu] by David Boaz, Cato Institute website, March 7, 2001.] Wilder later called the move "impeachment Tennessee-style." Soon after being sworn in, Alexander ordered the state Highway Patrol to seize control of the state capitol to prevent any maneuvers by Blanton to regain office.

Alexander made history by becoming the first Tennessee governor reelected to a second 4-year term by defeating Knoxville mayor Randy Tyree in the 1982 election, carrying almost 70% of Knox County. Since that time, every Tennessee Governor has been elected to consecutive terms. During his second term, he served as chairman of the National Governors Association from 1985 to 1986. After opting out of the 1984 U.S. Senate contest for the open seat of retiring Majority Leader Howard Baker, Alexander was constitutionally ineligible for a third term and stepped down from the governorship in January 1987.

After governorship

Moving with his family to Australia for a time, he would soon return to Tennessee and became the president of the University of Tennessee (1988–1991), and United States Secretary of Education (1991–1993).

In 1987, he helped found Corporate Child Care Management, Inc. (now known as Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc.), a company thatndash via a mergerndash is now the nation's largest provider of worksite day care. In his 2005 U.S. Senate financial disclosure report, he listed personal ownership of BFAM (Bright Horizons Family Solutions) stock valued (at that time) between $1 million and $5 million dollars.

He taught about the American character as a faculty member at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

He also made two unsuccessful runs for President of the United States, in the 1996 and 2000 election cycles. In 1996, he finished third in both the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire Primary and dropped out before the Super Tuesday primaries. After dropping out of the race, Alexander took an advisory role in the Dole/Kemp campaign. ["Reading, Writing, and Reform" (transcript of a news-program debate among Bob Dole, Lamar Alexander, and Albert Shanker), 22 Aug 1996] His second candidacy, in which he traveled around the U.S. in a Ford Explorer, eschewing a campaign bus or plane, lasted less than six months, being announced March 9, 1999, and withdrawn August 16, 1999 (after a poor showing in the Ames Straw Poll), both times in Nashville. ["Lamar Alexander"] An article in The New York Times during this period comments that Alexander's "bitter belief that party's nominating process is being short-circuited by big money and big media has become [his] consuming preoccupation," referring to the Republican Party. ["Alexander, After 6-Year Run, Is Short on Time and Money," Melinda Henneberger, 12 Aug 1999]

enate career

Despite vowing to never again return to elective office, he was nevertheless persuaded by the White House to run for the open seat of retiring Senator Fred Thompson in 2002. Seen as a moderate Republican by Tennessee standards, his candidacy was vigorously opposed by conservatives who supported Congressman Ed Bryant, who had become one of the House managers during the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Alexander was better-funded and armed with more prominent endorsements, winning by a closer-than-expected margin over Bryant in the primary. Democrats had high hopes of recovering the seat with their candidate, Nashville Congressman Bob Clement, a member of a prominent political family. Despite grumblings by conservatives to defect to the moderately liberal Clement, Alexander was successful in defeating Clement in the general election that year. With his election to the U.S. Senate, he became the first Tennessean to be popularly elected both governor and senator. At 62, Alexander also became the oldest elected freshman U.S. Senator from Tennessee since Democrat Lawrence D. Tyson in 1924.

Before the Iraq War began, Alexander supported sending troops to Iraq and expressed his agreement with President Bush that Iraq must be dealt with immediately. [ [ On Alexander swing, Cheney demands Iraqi compliance] , by Brad Schrade, "The Tennessean", September 27, 2002] A year after the war began, Alexander stated that the Iraq War had provided "lessons" to the nation, but went on to say that American troops should not be withdrawn, saying "It would be even worse if we left before the job was done." [ [ Alexander Cites Lessons Of Iraq] , "The Chattanoogan", February 19, 2004] In 2007, Alexander touted implementing the Iraq Study Group recommendations, noting that he believes Bush will be viewed as a Truman-esque figure if he implements the Group's recommendations. [ [ Alexander Touts Iraq Study Group Findings] , appearance on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, July 19, 2007] [ [ Alexander champions Iraq course] , by Bartholomew Sullivan, "The Commercial Appeal", September 9, 2007] Alexander has, however, opposed most efforts in the Senate to bring an end to the Iraq War or reduce the number of troops in Iraq, voting, for example, against an amendment to a bill that would have required that soldiers be given minimum periods of rest before being redeployed to Iraq. [ [ U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote ] ]

In 2007, a species of springtail, "Cosberella lamaralexanderi", was named in his honor partially because of his support in the Senate for scientic research funding.

Committee Assignments

*Committee on Appropriations
**Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
**Subcommittee on Homeland Security
**Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
**Subcommittee on Legislative Branch (Ranking Member)
**Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
**Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
*Committee on Environment and Public Works
**Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
**Subcommittee on Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming, Oversight, and Children's Health Protection (Ranking Member)
*Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
**Subcommittee on Children and Families (Ranking Member)
**Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging
*Committee on Rules and Administration

Republican leadership

In late 2006, Alexander announced that he had secured the requisite number of votes to become the Republican Party's Minority Whip in the Senate during the 110th Congress. Even though he was seen as the preferred choice of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Bush Administration, he lost the election to former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott by one vote (25-24). [cite news|last=Babington|first=Charles|title=Lott Rejoins Senate Leadership|date=November 16, 2006|url=|work=Washington Post|accessdate=2007-12-21]

Alexander would get a second shot at entering his party's leadership a year later when Lott announced his intent to resign from the Senate by the end of 2007. Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, then Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, ran for Whip and was elected without opposition. With the Conference Chair vacant, Alexander announced that he would seek the position. [cite news|title=Alexander Announces Interest in Conference Chair|url=|date=November 26, 2007|accessdate=2008-01-12] He would go on to defeat Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina by a margin of 31-16. [cite news|last=Bresnahan|first=John|title=Alexander Wins Senate GOP Conference Chairmanship|url=|date=December 6, 2007|accessdate=2008-01-12]

2008 Re-election campaign

Senator Alexander announced his intention to seek re-election to the Senate in 2008. He made this announcement in his hometown of Maryville on April 3, 2007. [cite news |title=Alexander Running Again, Sets Fundraiser |url= |work=The Chattanoogan |publisher= |date=2007-04-03 |accessdate=2007-04-06 ]

Alexander has been favored throughout the entire campaign, due to his long history in Tennessee politics and a disorganized Democratic opposition. His rivals will be former state Democratic Party Chairman Bob Tuke, who won a heated primary, as well as Libertarian candidate Daniel T. Lewis. A Rasmussen poll in late September, the only one currently showing at, gave Alexander a 24-point lead.

Controversy and criticism

;TRACS criticismThe Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) in 1987 was denied recognition for the group to accredit schools. An advisory panel repeatedly recommended against recognizing TRACS as an accreditor, but in 1991 Education Secretary Lamar Alexander approved TRACS.cite news |url= |title=Dinosaur TRACS: The Approaching Conflict between Establishment Clause Jurisprudence And College Accreditation Procedures|publisher=Nexus (law journal) from Chapman University School of Law |date=March 24, 2002 |first=Timothy |last=Sandefur |accessdate=2006-11-04] In 1993, Steve Levicoff published a book-length critical discussion of TRACS and Alexander's decision in "", through the Institute on Religion and Law. [cite news |url= |title=Christian Accrediting Group Faulted in Federal Review |publisher=The Chronicle of Higher Education |date=June 16, 1995 |first=Scott |last=Jaschik |accessdate=2007-05-04]

Electoral history

Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = Lamar Alexander
votes = 888,223
percentage = 54.3
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Bob Clement
votes = 726,510
percentage = 44.2
change =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = Lamar Alexander (Incumbent)
votes = 737,693
percentage = 59.56
change = +3.72
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Randy Tyree
votes = 500,937
percentage = 40.44
change =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = Lamar Alexander
votes = 661,959
percentage = 55.84
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Jake Butcher
votes = 523,495
percentage = 44.16
change =

Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (US)
candidate = Ray Blanton
votes = 576,833
percentage = 55.88
change =
Election box candidate with party link
party = Republican Party (US)
candidate = Lamar Alexander
votes = 455,467
percentage = 44.12
change =

United States presidential election, 1996 (Republican primaries): [ [ Our Campaigns - US President - R Primaries Race - Jul 07, 1996 ] ]
* Bob Dole - 9,024,742 (58.82%)
* Pat Buchanan - 3,184,943 (20.76%)
* Steve Forbes - 1,751,187 (11.41%)
* Lamar Alexander - 495,590 (3.23%)
* Alan Keyes - 471,716 (3.08%)
* Dick Lugar - 127,111 (0.83%)
* Unpledged delegates - 123,278 (0.80%)
* Phil Gramm - 71,456 (0.47%)
* Bob Dornan - 42,140 (0.28%)
* Morry Taylor - 21,180 (0.14%)

Republican Senate Minority Whip [ [ Our Campaigns - US Senate Assistant Minority Leader Race - Nov 15, 2006 ] ]
* Trent Lott (MS) - 25 (51.02%)
* Lamar Alexander (TN) - 24 (48.98%)

Senate Republican Conference Chairman: [ [ Our Campaigns - US Senate Republican Conference Chairman Race - Dec 06, 2007 ] ]
* Lamar Alexander (TN) - 31 (65.96%)
* Richard Burr (NC) - 16 (34.04%)


External links

* [ United States Senator Lamar Alexander] , U.S. Senate siteCongLinks
surge = 940
congbio = a000360
fec = S2TN00058
opensecrets = N00009888
votesmart = BZZ57901
ontheissuespath = Senate/Lamar_Alexander.htm

* [ Collected news and commentary] from "The New York Times"
* [ Profile] at SourceWatch Congresspedia
* [ Congress and Scouting] BSA Fact Sheet

U.S. Secretary box
before= Lauro Cavazos
after= Richard Riley
years=1991 – 1993
president= George H.W. Bush
department= Secretary of Education
U.S. Senator box
before=Fred Thompson
alongside=Bill Frist, Bob Corker

NAME= Alexander, Lamar
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Alexander, Andrew Lamar
SHORT DESCRIPTION=senior United States Senator from Tennessee
DATE OF BIRTH=July 3, 1940
PLACE OF BIRTH=Maryville, Tennessee

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