from Bill Still
Donald Trump will be meeting with one Senator in particular today – a possible Vice Presidential pick, Tom Cotton, the junior Senator from Arkansas.
Cotton, aged 38, is the youngest sitting U.S. Senator. He is a Harvard Law graduate and known to be a no-nonsense, hard-working rising conservative with little appetite for frivolity.
In Sept. 2014, the Atlantic did a story on him entitled, “The Making of a Conservative Superstar.”
“From the time he was a teenager, Cotton has been nurtured and groomed by conservative institutions—scholars, think tanks, media, and advocacy groups—to be the face of their political crusade. Pure, upright, and ideologically correct, he is their seemingly flawless mascot.”
At Harvard, Cotton was a diligent student, graduating in only three years. He sought out the few conservatives on the faculty, one of whom was Harvey Mansfield. The New York Times once called Mansfield the person who had:
“… quietly shaped the thinking of a generation of conservative writers, academics and public figures.”
Mansfield told The Atlantic that Tom Cotton:
“… was very smart, but not a future professor – a man of action. He was always very political, wanting to be engaged.”
After graduation from Harvard, Cotton wanted to join the military, but had student loans to pay off. He worked in a Washington law firm until he joined the army in January, 2005.
He was offered a direct commission as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s office – a typical rank for someone with his education, but Cotton chose to enter as an enlisted man, instead. In March, he was sent to Officer candidate school, followed by Army Airborne School as well as Ranger School and Air Assault School.
In May 2006, Cotton was deployed to Baghdad as a platoon leader with the 101st Airborne, where he led a 41-man air assault infantry platoon and planned and performed daily combat patrols.
In Oct. 2008, Cotton deployed to Afghanistan after being promoted to 1st Lieutenant. In Sept. 2009, Cotton left the army and returned to help his parents on the family cattle ranch in Arkansas.
In 2011, when the Democrat congressman from his home district in Arkansas retired, Cotton ran for the seat and won. As a freshman, Politico named Cotton, “Most Likely to Succeed.”
After one term in the House of Representatives, Cotton started eyeing a run against incumbent Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor after Roll Call called Pryor the most vulnerable Senator seeking re-election.
Mitt Romney campaigned for Cotton in Arkansas and Cotton crushed Pryor in a general election landslide, 56.5% to 40.
Cotton was sworn into the Senate on January 6 – a little over a year ago.
Two months later, Cotton was leading the charge against the Iranian Nuke deal. Cotton wrote a letter to the leadership of Iran, signed by 47 of the Senate’s 54 Republicans, saying that Obama had no authority to negotiate the ongoing nuke deal.
Obama lashed out at Cotton’s letter:
“I’m embarrassed for them. For them to address a letter to the Ayatollah — the Supreme Leader of Iran, who they claim is our mortal enemy — and their basic argument to them is: don’t deal with our President, ’cause you can’t trust him to follow through on an agreement… That’s close to unprecedented.”
Cotton responded in an interview on MSNBC:
“There are nothing but hardliners in Iran. They’ve been killing Americans for 35 years…. Now they control five capitals in the Middle East. … and if they do all those things without a nuclear weapon, imagine what they’ll do with a nuclear weapon.”
As a result of Cotton’s hard-line stance against Iran, he is strongly supported by the Israel lobby in the U.S. Even Bill Kristol’s “The Emergency Committee for Israel” supports Sen. Cotton.
I’m Still reporting from Washington. Good day.