Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for President?
Al.com in Alabama recently posed this question: “How would an Alabama candidate do on the national stage?”
There is absolutely no indication that Sessions is even considering entering the 2016 fray, but his championing of American workers and stand against massive amnesty legislation and President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty must have gotten the publication thinking about a hypothetical candidacy.
Sessions told the outlet that “neither one of the parties are connecting with the average American” in a country where “wages are down” and “the percentage of people who are working is the lowest it’s been in 40 years.”
Al.com noted that though Sessions thinks the GOP is “fundamentally correct” on a lot of issues, the party needs to move away from its consultants and the so-called “masters of the universe” and “needs to address two issues: immigration and defense of the American worker, especially against unfair trade from countries such as China.”
When asked about running for president, Sessions, repeating a line he has used in the past when Alabamans have urged him to run for president, reportedly laughed and said, “I always say, unlike my opponents, I know I’m not qualified.” Sessions’s ideas, though, will resonate in the three early primary states as the 2016 contest kicks off in earnest next week.
In Iowa, immigration has always been a hot-button issue among conservatives, with Iowa Republicans consistently saying they would be less likely to vote for candidates who support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was once the frontrunner in the state until he championed the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” comprehensive amnesty legislation.
In New Hampshire, Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown has turned what was once thought to be a race he could not win into a dead heat against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) by running against illegal immigration. The “live free or die” state propelled Pat Buchanan to a much stronger-than-expected finish against an incumbent Republican president George H.W. Bush in 1992 as Buchanan championed tax cuts, American workers and the dignity of work. (Buchanan’s showing in New Hampshire was a sign that Ross Perot’s message would resonate with Americans disillusioned with both political parties that represent two sides of the same coin.) Brown, unlike other Republican candidates in even red states, has seen closed a double-digit deficit in the polls after he strongly opposed illegal immigration. Sessions has taken notice as Brown has been hammering the issue. So has Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s pro-amnesty lobbying group, which started running ads for Shaheen, Brown’s opponent.
“Scott Brown urgently needs your help in his fight to stop Obama’s amnesty and protect our national security,” Sessions wrote to grassroots conservatives this weekend. “Open borders billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is spending one million dollars to defeat Scott Brown. He knows that a Scott Brown victory is a massive defeat for Obama’s extreme immigration policies. Scott Brown’s opponent in this race, on the other hand, is a reliable vote for Obama’s immigration policies and his desire to bring in millions of new low-wage workers to compete for your jobs and wages.”
And if Sessions were to throw his hat into the ring, he would be a son of the South in South Carolina–home to the country’s first-in-the-South primary–if Palmetto State residents could forgive the Senator for representing a state that has won the last four of the last five college football national titles and has been represented in the last five national title games. South Carolina was also the home to the great patriot Roger Milliken, the textile magnate who built the state’s Republican Party. Milliken (there is a reason today’s industry titans like Mark Zuckerberg who want to do away with borders do not resonate with American workers like Milliken did) helped convince Barry Goldwater to run for president, but he also supported Ross Perot for vowing to protect American jobs.
As Pat Buchanan wrote after the death of the great Mr. Milliken nearly four years ago:
Intellectuals deride “paternalistic capitalism,” the idea that men who begin and build companies know better than investors, unions and markets what is best for them and their workers.
Roger Milliken exemplified the best of that dying breed.
When his carpet plant in La Grange, Ga., burned down on Jan. 31, 1995, Roger could have collected the insurance money, taken advantage of NAFTA, built a new plant in Mexico, employing the same low-wage labor some of his rivals were using, and pocketed the difference as profits for his company.
Instead, he arrived in La Grange the morning after the fire, gathered the stunned workers, told them he would find temporary jobs for them, then pledged to have the most modern carpet factory in the world built on that same site in six months.
He moved his La Grange workers to plants across the South, even to England, and called friendly rivals to ask them to hire his people. He moved to La Grange, oversaw the design of the new plant, brought in 3,000 construction workers and craftsmen, and directed the round-the-clock triple shifts to rebuild his burned-out factory.
A reporter called it with amazement “a company taking care of its company town.” As promised, on Aug. 1, 1995, the new plant opened.
Roger Milliken belonged to a rare species of men who used to be more common here in America than anywhere in the world. With his liberal arts degree from Yale, he was a man of ideas and a man of action. He had the ability to enlist creative genius, managerial talent and loyal workers to build an empire of production that was the best in the world. He wished to be remembered with a single word: builder.
That he was, and if America is in a time of decline, it is because we no longer produce many men like Roger Milliken.
Americans are tuning out both parties because they do not see people like Roger Milliken representing them. Of course, nobody except for conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham, who has been simpatico with Sessions in fighting for American workers and opposing massive amnesty legislation, seems to have even suggested a possible Sessions run. Strange things happen in politics that often defy odds, though. Nobody thought House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) would be ousted in a primary because of his support for amnesty legislation.
And in the state of Alabama, could anything be stranger than Lane Kiffin–who nobody except perhaps Nick Saban thought was qualified to be an assistant coach for college football’s most prestigious program–becoming Alabama’s offensive coordinator and then thriving (his play-calling in the season opener against West Virginia with a very green quarterback–Blake Sims–who has turned into one of college football’s best stories gets better and better as one looks in the rear-view mirror) in his return to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) while coexisting with Saban?