What Next for Conservatives? For Lessons, Look to Lamar



ashington, D.C., was on the brink of doing something it never does: Give up power. First, Lamar Alexander had to get through the Obama administration.

Tennessee’s Republican senator was deep in negotiations with Senator Patty Murray (D., Wash.) to fix No Child Left Behind, the sweeping Bush-era education law that had enraged conservatives as President Barack Obama’s administration used its unworkable mandates to press states into yet more mandates, including Common Core. Then came word that would have sent some Republicans into attack mode: The president wanted a meeting. Whispers of a veto threat were in the air.

Alexander just smiled.

“I was

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