Newly-minted Fourth District Congressman Tom Cotton (R) has garnered his fair share of national media attention since taking office earlier this month.
Cotton is the subject of two National Journal articles this weekend – one focusing on his remarks to GOP leaders and the other highlighting a potential U.S. Senate run in 2014.
On advice, Cotton offers 3 political lessons:
Get good candidates. Bad candidates make for poor election outcomes… “If you want to win an election it helps to nominate skillful candidates, and I don’t think on that front necessarily it’s ideology,” Cotton said.
Exploit foreign policy. Cotton argued voters care less about foreign policy than the economy and domestic policy because it affects them less, but the fact that Obama has deemphasized the war in Afghanistan and is focused on pulling the troops out means there’s a political opportunity for the GOP.
If you can’t pass your own conservative agenda, then frustrate the president. Make the case, Cotton suggested, that the “collective government” theme President Obama pursued in his inaugural address is a continuation of the era of big government.
In a second article, the National Journal touts Cotton as a “rising star” and mentions the scuttlebutt surrounding a potential U.S. Senate challenge to incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor in 2014.
But Cotton faces a dilemma: Does he stay in the House seat he just won and gain some experience? Or does he launch a Senate campaign that could knock off Pryor, who’s popular, but vulnerable in deeply conservative Arkansas? In an interview with National Journal, Cotton says he has not decided whether he’ll run, but it’s clearly on his mind.
“Someone asked me on the campaign trail if I would commit to running again in two years. I said, ‘Have you seen my resume?’ I can’t commit to do anything for more than two years,” Cotton quipped.
The Arkansas Senate race is something of a must-win for Republicans if they want to entertain any hopes of winning back a majority. Senate Republicans need to net six seats, with a sweep all but necessary against Democrats holding seats in deeply conservative states, like Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska and South Dakota.