I hope you enjoyed the excitement Tuesday morning when Rep. Joe Carr announced he will run against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander. It was possibly the most we will experience until, oh, the 2018 gubernatorial race.
My guess is that Carr will not be the only one to try. Either Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett or Kevin Kookogey will jump in too, and you will see the pattern we have all come to recognize taking shape. Think Corker vs. Hilleary vs. Bryant. Or Haslam vs. Wamp vs. Ramsey. Or even Fincher vs. Flinn vs. Kirkland.
Stalwarts in the political consulting and advising business abandoned Carr like his campaign was Dick Van Dyke’s car, and returned to more temperate establishment climes. That leaves Carr to, perhaps, fill the void with folks who are long on eagerness and short on professionalism.
The run-up to the primary won’t be thrilling; it will be bitter, shallow, and shrill. Alexander will win it, and will then sail past whatever tumbleweeds and ghosts might be on the general election ballot as a Democrat and independents.
Down-ballot, it’s also time to go on autopilot. The only congressional race that was going to be interesting at all just turned into a walk for Sen. Jim Tracy. I know people were already counting out Carr in that one, but it was early yet. Now it’s early and it’s over.
What happened on Tuesday was like a minor earthquake. It was kind of intense, but short-lived; and even though some things shifted, there was no major damage.
It is going to be a long year or three.