Plenty of politicians promise on the campaign trail to restore an intangible “American Dream,” but one outsider Senate candidate is putting his money where his mouth is and offering to make it a reality for a few lucky supporters.
John King, a Knoxville businessman and long-shot candidate in Tennessee’s Republican Senate primary, is looking to bring attention to his campaign to unseat incumbent Lamar Alexander with an “American Dream Giveaway.”
Conditional on a highly improbable King victory in the Aug. 7 primary, entrants into the contest could win one of 18 prizes, including a home-starter package, luxury SUVs, and 4x4 trucks, a debt-free home-improvement business, dream vacations, and even several firearms.
“I believe in the American Dream and want to encourage the hope that it still can be achieved,” King said. “So much so that I plan to give it away.”
King is one of nine Republican candidates, including Alexander, who filed for the race. State Rep. Joe Carr presents the most formidable tea-party challenge and is the only other elected official in the race.
Carr received a boost after Dave Brat’s stunning upset over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia’s primaries on June 10, especially after interviewing with Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham in the ensuing days.
But while Brat took on Cantor one-on-one on the ballot, Carr’s crowded field of competition could divide the bloc of unsatisfied Tennessee Republicans who oppose Alexander and weaken any chance of another upset. In this sense, the Tennessee primary bears more resemblance to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s sweeping victory in South Carolina over six challengers last week than Cantor’s dramatic defeat at the hands of one foe.
And unlike Cantor, Alexander gave up his leadership role as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference in 2012, allowing him to act more independently and to focus more time on his constituents and reelection. The seat, in short, is reasonably safe. Even a tea-party-sponsored poll in May revealed a 24-point lead for Alexander over Carr, while earlier polls have shown an even bigger gap between the two. As The Cook Political Report has it, Alexander has little to worry about.
So, it’s easy to see why a little-known candidate is trying something new. If nothing else, King’s creative campaign ploy allows him to demonstrate his unwavering support for gun ownership and add a few recipients to his campaign email blasts. But so far, it is attracting minimal attention: with 49 days remaining, only 18 people have entered the contest.
What We're Following See More »
"Like Donald Trump himself, the Trump campaign’s new national finance chairman has a long history of contributing to Democrats—including Hillary Clinton. Private investor Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s new campaign fundraising guru, has contributed more than $120,000" to candidates since 1995, about half of which has gone to Democrats.
Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."
The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"
An aide to Mitt Romney confirmed to the Washington Post that the 2102 GOP nominee will not attend the Republican convention this year. He joins the two living Republican presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, as well as 2008 nominee John McCain in skipping the event. Even among living Republican nominees, that leaves only Bob Dole who could conceivably show up. Dole did say in January that he'd prefer Trump to Ted Cruz, but his age (92) could keep him from attending.