|United States Senator
January 3, 2003
Serving with Bob Corker
|Preceded by||Fred Thompson|
|Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee|
January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Tom Harkin|
|Chair of the Senate Republican Conference|
December 19, 2007 â€“ January 26, 2012
|Preceded by||Jon Kyl|
|Succeeded by||John Thune|
|5th United States Secretary of Education|
March 22, 1991 â€“ January 20, 1993
|President||George H. W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Ted Sanders (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Richard Riley|
|45th Governor of Tennessee|
January 17, 1979 â€“ January 17, 1987
|Preceded by||Ray Blanton|
|Succeeded by||Ned McWherter|
|Born||Andrew Lamar Alexander Jr.
July 3, 1940
Maryville, Tennessee, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Honey Buhler (1969â€“present)|
|Education||Vanderbilt University (BA)
New York University (JD)
We've got a strong group of Republicans who are conservatives who know that their jobs aren't finished when they finish their speech.
I think, I think we need a Republican president from the real world to remind ourselves sometimes of what we need to do.
If you have a solution to immigration, it is possible to come home and defend it.
We hear a lot about rebuilding Detroit, and we just spent $70 billion to bail out the auto industry – well, they need to be cost competitive, too. If they have high-cost energy, those suppliers are going to move to Japan or Mexico instead of Michigan and Tennessee.
Sooner or later, I need to begin to do what any candidate does in a presidential race; I need to begin to win.
As Governor, I could think of only one way to unify our State that was made up of so many different climates, political beliefs and people, and that was our music.
I need to know the price of a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs. I need to know right now.
I love Washington, D.C.; I love this country, but I think over the last hundred years we've built up would I call an arrogant empire: people who think the rest of us are too stupid to make our own decisions.
I think we do better as a country when we go step by step toward a goal, and the goal in this case should be reducing health care costs.
If Mr. Bush and Mr. Forbes don't get most of the votes, they should be arrested for wasting money.
Well, here's what I think. I mean, the people are saying, 'We don't want it,' and the Democrats are saying, 'We don't care. We're going to pass it anyway.' And so for the next three months, Washington will be consumed with the Democrats trying to jam this through in a very messy procedure an unpopular health care bill.
September 11 is one of our worst days but it brought out the best in us. It unified us as a country and showed our charitable instincts and reminded us of what we stood for and stand for.
Put too many one-size-fits-all jackets on Americans and the place explodes.
When I was governor, I was looking for a way to unify our state. I realized music is about the only thing that unifies Tennessee.
Most people who get in trouble in politics usually get in trouble because they're disconnected from the people they serve, and I don't think anybody in Tennessee, even people who won't vote for me, would accuse me of that.
I think there's plenty of evidence that we need to stop spewing so much carbon into the air, that we're contributing to climate change and that we ought to look for alternatives.
I've got a new rule. It'll be rule No. 312. If it's three days before a campaign, don't believe anything new you hear about anybody.
We do all the appropriating. They do not do any of it down at the White House. They send a budget up here, and we don't have to pay any attention it to at all. We do what we want to do.
Primarily, we need to change 100 years of thinking, where we try to extend the promise of American life by moving things to Washington, and let's move it the other way: less of Washington, more from ourselves.
In the Senate, where 60 votes are required to do anything important, you have to work with your colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
It is a rare American who does not have some story about how music has made our lives richer and more interesting, how it has changed our moods, brought out the best in our character and even sometimes helped us earn a living.
I remember when President Bush, George W. Bush, came into office, he focused on No Child Left Behind, and with – and before very long, suddenly, Republicans were thought of as being as interested and as competent in education as Democrats, and why? Because they were talking about it and doing something about it.
I think Americans are – particularly, independent voters are looking at Washington, and they see too many taxes, too much spending, too much debt, too many Washington takeovers, and they want to provide a check and a balance to what they see as a runaway, overreaching Washington government.
The main interest of most members of the Christian Coalition is the breakdown of the family. I think that's our biggest problem, and if the whole country was as concerned and active in issues of the family as members of the Christian Coalition are, we'd probably be better off as a country.
To power the country by building 186,000 fifty-story wind turbines – and running 19,000 miles of new transmission lines – just seems impractical and preposterous compared to the idea of building a hundred new nuclear facilities primarily on the sites we already have.
The goal with a big piece of social legislation is to have a bipartisan result, so the country will accept it.
If the administration asks for $5 and Congress appropriates $4, that's what they get. If the government creates a subterfuge by going outside the government to raise money through a private entity, that's a violation of the law.
I think people are looking for a president who has views and who sticks to those views. So, I think Governor Romney, Governor Perry, Governor Huntsman are all terrific candidates. I think we got a chance to elect a real, executive leader.
The composition of the primary is so different than when I was first elected governor in 1978.
I think there are too many bosses in Washington telling Nashville Diesel College and Harvard University how to run – how to run their campuses, and I'd like to reduce the number of Washington regulations on higher education and keep this marketplace of wonderful institutions among which students can choose; that's oriented toward job growth.
The job of mayor and Governor is becoming more and more like the job of university president, which I used to be; it looks like you are in charge, but you are not.
President Bush and I had asked Congress to appropriate a half-billion dollars to school vouchers. We didn't get it, and we were disappointed. But we did not go out and form a corporation to pay for it. That would have been a problem.
When I get close to an election, I look to 'Lamar Alexander's Little Plaid Book' for inspiration.
We are the only country in the world that has taken people from so many different backgrounds, which is a great achievement by itself, but an even greater achievement is that we have turned all of that variety and diversity into unity.
There are a growing number of conservatives and Republicans who, while they support the president and support the war in Iraq, wonder how many of these nation-building wars we're going to engage in and what the parameters of that are.