Should Alexander care what the Tea Party thinks? He claims he's planning to run for reelection in 2014, despite his advancing age. (He'd be 79 when a third Senate term ended.)
"I think he will definitely have a Tea Party challenge," conservative talk radio host Steve Gill tells Pith, "particularly if Lamar emerges as one of those Gang of Six types who tries to cobble together bad policy by compromising with the extreme left in the Senate."
On the other hand, Alexander might keep saying he will run only to keep the political chaos to a minimum while he's thinking about it. And even if he does run, as Gill points out, "That's a lifetime away." By then, the Tea Party already might have booted Obama out of the White House and taken control of the Senate as well as the House. Why bother with trying to oust one last toothless moderate like Lamar?
"Do they still feel like they need to clean out the RHINOs from the Senate at that point?" Gill asks.