Friday, August 09, 2013

Tom Cotton’s Run for Senate in Arkansas Makes Him the New Neocon Darling

In their quest to retake the U.S. Senate—or at least gain ground and jam a thumb in Harry Reid’s eye—Republicans found reason to rejoice this week when Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas’s Fourth District officially announced his candidacy to unseat Democrat Mark Pryor.

Even setting aside Pryor’s handicap as the lone remaining Dem in the congressional delegation of a state that’s fast trending red and that really really doesn’t like President Obama, Cotton is a genuinely impressive political specimen. The lanky, whip-smart 37-year-old has a CV that is, as GOP strategist Ralph Reed puts it, “out of central casting”: two degrees from Harvard (undergrad and law), a stint at the Claremont Graduate University (including a Publius fellowship in conservative political thought at the Claremont Institute), a federal clerkship, a turn at the crème de la crème consultancy McKinsey & Co., plus—and here’s where it gets almost too good to be true—an Army stint that featured tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He left the service with the rank of captain and, among other decorations, a Bronze Star. “He’s a star,” asserts Reed.

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