How Trump's Cabinet Could Create A Domino Effect Through Tennessee Politics

Posted at 10:06 PM, Nov 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-10 23:33:13-05

One of the new President's first jobs, before even taking office, is to appoint a new cabinet.
And speculation is high that Tennessee Senator Bob Corker could be called for the job.

"Corker was apparently on the short list for Vice President," said NewsChannel 5 Political Analyst Pat Nolan, "he did not get selected but at least he is on the radar screen."

Other prominent state politicians have already weighed in on a Secretary of State Corker, or possibly Secretary of the Treasury.

"I'd hate to lose him as a colleague in the Senate, but he'd be an excellent choice by President Trump and I think they have a good relationship," said Sen. Lamar Alexander.

"The country would be well served to have Senator Corker in a nationwide role," agreed Gov. Haslam.

But if Corker leaves to join Trump's cabinet, it could create a domino effect in Tennessee.

"That's the wildest of speculations but hey isn't that what politics is all about," Nolan laughed.

What he's talking about is the recent rumblings from the Hill, as follows:

With Corker out, Governor Haslam has to appoint his replacement. Some think Haslam himself would be a good pick.

If that happened, the Governor's seat would be empty, filled by the Lt. Governor. But Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey is on his way out.

So it's possible Ramsey's expected successor State Senator Randy McNally could move all the way to the Governor's seat.

"From being the Senate Finance Chair to being Lt. Governor to being Governor of the state within a couple of weeks. That's a pretty dizzying ascent," Nolan said.

And it's probably an unlikely one, with so many "what-ifs."

Yesterday reporters asked Governor Haslam who he'd like to replace Corker, should Trump pick him for a cabinet seat.

"I have started getting a lot of calls about the position," Haslam laughed, saying he's received around 25 calls already, "I don't think I would do it myself."

Instead, the Governor said he's still weighing whether the appointee should be a "caretaker" or someone who aspires to run for the Senate seat in the 2018 election, though he leans toward the former.

But until we know for sure, the future of state politics could be wide open.

Other names reportedly on the short list for Secretary of State are Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former UN ambassador John Bolton.