Report: Sessions will run for the Senate

Jeff Sessions is expected to announce soon that he will run for the Senate seat he held until 2017. I doubt there is anyone more qualified for that job than Sessions. He served with distinction for 20 years. Few conservatives had any serious complaint about his performance in the Senate.

Many complain that, as Attorney General, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. I’m not one of them. I think Sessions made the right call by recusing himself from a matter in which he might have been a witness (and one that did not loom when he agreed to serve as AG). In any case, Sessions won’t be running for Attorney General, he’ll be running for the Senate.

It will be up to Alabama Republicans to decide whether Sessions’s falling out with President Trump warrants rejecting their longtime Senator in favor of one of the several other Republicans seeking the seat. All I will say about this decision is that Sessions is not Mitt Romney.

Since being dismissed from the Justice Department, Sessions has not spoken ill of the man who sacked him. To the contrary, he has continued to express support for Trump. There is no reason to believe Sessions won’t support the Trump agenda (assuming Trump is reelected) except to the extent that Trump continues to push for the soft sentencing of federal felons and their early release from prison.

The overriding point about the Alabama Senate race, though, is the need to defeat the Democratic incumbent Doug Jones. Sessions could beat Jones easily, I believe, but so could other competent conservative Republican candidates in the field. The only one who might well struggle is Roy Moore, who already has lost to Jones.

For me, then, the question is whether Sessions’s entry makes it more likely that Moore will be the nominee. The fear, I suppose, is that Sessions might divide the non-Moore vote sufficiently to allow Moore to make the run-off election.

But even if Moore makes it that far, it’s difficult to imagine that Alabama Republicans will nominate him again after what happened last time. Thus, the Roy Moore factor shouldn’t dampen enthusiasm for Sessions’s entry in the race. Neither, in my view, should the Donald Trump factor.

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