By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Only recent presidential candidates, and fellow US Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) ranked as more influential than Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama). This according to a new list by Politico. While other Republican Senators may hold all of the fancy committee chairmanships, few have actually shaped the policy debates more than Sessions.
Politico writes, “Trump is running on ideas that Sessions has been pushing for years—now crafted by (30 year old Stephen) Miller into a message for the candidate.”
Politico ranked Cruz and Sanders as their number 1. Sessions and Miller were number 2.
While both Sanders and Cruz saw their presidential dreams come crashing down into second place finishes, Sessions was the first Senator to endorse Trump and has helped the New York billionaire and reality TV win the approval of millions of conservative voters and the GOP nomination, something many seasoned political insiders considered impossible just a year ago. It is perhaps no coincidence that the largest political rally for a candidate to this point was when Sessions and Trump shared a August 2015 stage in Mobile. Sessions would wait until February to actually endorse Trump, but the fiery conservative in the red “Make America Great Again” hat gave Trump instant nationally credibility with conservative voters across the country.
Politico wrote: “Sessions has long been a critic of legalizing undocumented immigrants, and has pushed to curtail immigration to the United States, in part by constructing a wall along the southern US border. In fact, he has spent his two-decade career in Congress working to thwart immigration reform bills from both the right and left, with Miller coming on as an adviser in 2009 to join that effort. When the so-called Gang of Eight introduced a bipartisan immigration reform bill in 2013, Sessions played a key role in killing it; when the bill passed the Senate, his aide Miller literally wrote the 23-page handbook that House members were given on how to fight the deal.”
Sessions then loaned Miller to Trump to advise the candidate on border security issues. Miller is now a senior policy advisor to the GOP nominee.
Senator Sessions is serving his fourth term representing Alabama in the US Senate. In 2014 Sessions stood for reelection and nobody in the entire state would even qualify to oppose him in either the Republican Primary or the general election ticket.
Prior to his rise to the Senate, Sessions has been the US Attorney for Alabama’s Southern District, the Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, and Alabama’s Attorney General. Sessions then ran for the Senate seat previously held by the retiring Howell Heflin (D) in 1996. Sen. Sessions defeated state Senator Roger Bedford (D-Russellville) in that election and has served in the Senate ever since.
See the article on Politico to read more.