The minute I heard that Jeff Sessions was finally out as U.S. attorney general, I thought, well now we know who will be elected U.S. senator from Alabama in 2020.
Although Democrat Doug Jones of Mountain Brook has said the right things since winning a special election last year, Sessions, who served 20 years in the Senate before resigning to take the AG post when President Trump took office in January 2017, will be the odds-on favorite to win the election in 2020 — if he decides to run.
To state that Trump and Sessions had a stormy relationship would be a gross understatement. Despite the fact that Sessions carried out the Trump agenda about as well as any Trump cabinet member, Trump could not get over the fact that Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, although that was the ethical thing to do, since he had been involved in the Trump campaign.
I do not know how Sessions endured the constant barrage of insulting tweets from Trump. But Sessions obviously was resolved to stay in his dream job until Trump told him it was time to go, which most everyone correctly anticipated would be immediately after the mid-term elections.
To my knowledge, Sessions has not told anyone whether he would be interested in returning to the U.S. Senate But he is not terribly old — he will turn 72 on Christmas Eve — and apparently is in good health. A Sessions aide told the Washington Examiner that Sessions is considering a run.
And, in fact, the Federal Elections Commission already has Sessions listed as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2020, according to USA Today. Sessions apparently also checked the 2020 box when he indicated his candidacy in 2014, not realizing he would take an intervening post in an administration.
And why would he not run? U.S. senator is a pretty powerful position.
I do not believe he wants to go back home and throw a line in the Fowl River near Mobile and watch a bobble all day. He has been in so many important positions — U.S. attorney, U.S. senator, attorney general — that he will find something to keep him active.
One person who will likely be disappointed by a Sessions Senate candidacy is U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne from Baldwin County. Byrne, 62, has invested a lot of time and effort into a Senate race, but probably would not run if Sessions decides to. Instead, Byrne will probably sit on the sidelines and wait for the next opportunity, which probably will be with the retirement of U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa.
Shelby, 84, is up for reelection in 2022.
What is happening in college polls?
Auburn moved into the top 10 in the Associated Press basketball poll (at no. 9) this week, while the football team tumbled out of the top 25. I wonder when was the last time that happened?
This football season, with two games and a bowl to go, just has not been as successful as we had hoped for or thought it would, while basketball has started off with a bang — beating South Alabama and then-ranked Washington by an incredible combined 65 points!
Auburn football coaches have a very good recruiting year going, but now must try to hold it together after the disappointing season.
The basketball team seems poised for another SEC championship run and possibly a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
Perhaps the football program will return to its accustomed top 25 ranking next fall.