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Frist Convenes Strategy Session

When Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) convened a group of his top political advisers in Nashville this past weekend, one guest spoke from experience.

A source close to Frist confirmed that Sen. Lamar Alexander -- Frist's homestate colleague -- attended the gathering.  Alexander spokesman Harvey Valentine would not discuss the senator's reasons for sitting in, saying only "they have known each other for a long time." It isn't a far reach, however, to assume that Alexander shared with the gathered group his experiences -- in 1996 and 2000 -- of running for president.

Among the other attendees at the meeting were former Republican National Committee communications director Jim Dyke, who is now signed on with Frist '08, as well as lobbyist Alex Vogel and Frist chief fundraiser Linus Catignani.

The Frist political gathering was part of a larger retreat sponsored by Frist, which included almost all of his Tennessee-based staff. Sources say the gathering was not simply focused on 2008, pointing out that much of Frist's political future depends on finishing his final year in the Senate -- and as majority leader -- on a high note, especially given his struggles in 2005.

The first step in that renewal could come in March at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference event in Memphis. A straw poll of likely 2008 presidential candidates will be conducted, Frist needs a strong showing to reestablish himself as a player in the presidential sweepstakes.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 10, 2006; 3:22 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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You're fired! You're sentenced to 20 years in prison!

Posted by: The US Citizens...Judge Roberts | January 11, 2006 1:44 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Judge Crater | January 11, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Shall we take that as a no then?

Posted by: Bill Frist | January 11, 2006 2:02 AM | Report abuse

I would put his electability at minus 5 percent. His integrity is in the same negative territory.

Posted by: mdl | January 10, 2006 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Bill Frist is the poster boy for corruption. Pushing through special interest legislation that can't stand on it's own merit (without hearings), to further his personal ambitions.
He'll never be president of the US, but he most likely will be CEO of a Pharmacutical manufacturer one day. Though I hope his next career move is as an inmate in a federal prison.

Posted by: ashamedformerrepublican | January 10, 2006 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Bill Frist is about as telegenic as a cold bowl of oatmeal. He should go back to killing cats and living off that "blind" trust of his.

Perhaps you should devote some blog time to that editorial in The National Review that FINALLY states that the Abramoff Scandal is a REPUBLICAN problem, not a bipartisan one.

Posted by: Maria | January 10, 2006 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Bill Frist could find better ways to spend his time than fantizing. How about doing his job-flushing the Republican toilet bowl and ending corruption in DC. I am SICK TO DEATH of lying scum pretending to be honest politicans.

Posted by: Noonehome | January 10, 2006 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Never underestimate the stupidity of Southern Republicans.

Posted by: cynical ex-hippie | January 10, 2006 6:13 PM | Report abuse

J. it's news b/c it shows just how stupid these people are. Oh wait. That's not news.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | January 10, 2006 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Unless the SRLC is as brain-damaged as Terry Schiavo I'd expect that they WON'T vote for Frist. Nothing is likely to happen between now and March that will dramatically help Frist's chances. He is tarred by association (if not by the continually emerging facts) with the Abramoff case. The SEC business will slap him with the 'crook' label at the same time as DeLay and Ney are forced to resign. He needs to accept the fact that he's toast and try to help someone who has a greater chance of actually getting elected.

Posted by: lpdrjk | January 10, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Why is this news?

Posted by: J. Crozier | January 10, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Frist is fried. He has no known accomplishments other than diagnosing Terry Schiavo from a tv monitor. I would not trust him as a doctor or as President.

Posted by: db | January 10, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: HEIDI | January 10, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

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