A former attorney general, Luther Strange, seems like the perfect person to clean up Capitol Hill. Pointing to his impressive conviction sheet, the current Alabama senator promises to help President Trump drain the swamp.
His website includes a page on "Draining the Swamp" and "Fighting Corruption." "Luther enjoyed many successes in the fight against Montgomery insiders," Strange's campaign website states. "As senator, he's ready to help President Donald Trump do the same in Washington."
This is an interesting shift in message from when Strange arrived in town a few weeks ago. In an April interview with the Washington Examiner, when asked whether he believed that there was a public corruption problem in Washington, Strange replied: "I have not seen that in my short time here."
What's different? Perhaps he's encountered Washington corruption since then. Also, Strange faces an Aug. 15 primary. Already, one opponent, Rep. Mo Brooks, has accused Strange of keeping company with a pack of "swamp critters."
Appointed by former Alabama Gov. Bentley to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Strange spent years inhabiting the swamp before promising to drain it. From 1999 until 2007, he was a federally registered lobbyist in D.C. The New York Times recently reported on his K Street work.
His deep roots in the marshes of D.C. may be paying off: The Republican establishment quickly rallied to Strange's side after Gov. Kay Ivey called the special election. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's Senate Leadership Fund has already pledged $2.6 million in ad buys on his behalf, even though there's little to no chance of a Democrat's winning the race.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.