Bob Corker Is 'Senator to Watch'

Tennessee Republican will play a big role in foreign policy decisions
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2015 1:34 PM CST
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. listens on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – With Republicans about to get to work in the Senate with their new majority, George Will of the Washington Post singles out Tennessee's Bob Corker as the perhaps the most important senator in the coming year. The reason has nothing to do with the 2016 presidential race: Will is talking about Corker's role as incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, especially in regard to the US fight with the Islamic State, Iran's nuclear pursuits, and Russia's trampling of foreign borders. "Standing at the intersection of three foreign policy crises and a perennial constitutional tension," Corker "may be the senator who matters most in 2015," writes Will.

He will have to tread that tricky line between giving a president deference on foreign policy decisions "and the need for collective wisdom and shared responsibility." But Will suggests that we might be about to see a bigger congressional role in overseas decisions. Corker may have had zero foreign policy experience when he came to DC in 2007, but he's caught up fast. "He has now visited 64 countries, some of them multiple times, and his mind is unclouded by long immersion in the conventional thinking of the foreign policy clerisy, with its inclination to disparage strong congressional initiatives in foreign policy." Click for the full column.

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