“We try to legislate what goes on inside a home way too much,” he says. “We need consistency and we’ve not traditionally done that.”
In Tennessee, another lawmaker with star potential has also devoted a great deal of brainpower to rehabilitating the GOP playbook.
State Sen. Mark Green’s resume reads like a casting call for politics. A former Army Ranger and special operations flight surgeon who interviewed Saddam Hussein on the night of his capture in Iraq, the U.S. Military Academy graduate also started his own emergency room management company where he remains CEO to this day.
Green, 49, dislodged a Democratic incumbent in an evenly divided Clarksville, Tennessee, district in 2012, almost immediately darting onto the statewide radar for 2014. Not even a year into his term, he was courted by leaders of Washington-based conservative groups, which dangled the promise of millions of dollars to prop up a challenge to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.