Two Republican senators, Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Tim Scott of South Carolina, teamed up to torpedo President Trump’s nominee to lead the Export-Import Bank. Abandoned by his own party, the nomination of former Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., failed in the Senate Banking Committee 10-13.
NBC reports that it was just the second time in more than three decades that a nomination went down in committee where the majority was of the same party of the president. The last time that happened was June 5, 1986. The president? Ronald Reagan. The committee? Judiciary. The nominee? A little-known district court nominee named Jeff Sessions.
From that failure, Sessions drew now famous success. A decade after being voted down, that Alabama Republican won election to the Senate and eventually sat on the same committee that him. Three decades later, he would be nominated and confirmed as U.S. attorney general.
What’s this mean for Garrett? Maybe nothing or maybe everything. Failure does not need to be permanent in a country where politicians are always rising and falling. There’s a slim but not inconceivable possibility that once voted down Garrett could rise up like a political sort of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Ahead of 2018 and thanks to an ongoing scandal, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is looking especially week right now. Just saying.