If there is an "in-crowd" in Washington, D.C., these days, Sen. Bob Corker's (R-TN) name would be on the A-list.
Now into his second term, Sen. Corker has become a fixture on Sunday television talk shows and radio.
An audience of his constituents would not begin to rattle him as they might have seven years ago and unlike many of his colleagues in congress, Corker actually likes listening to more than himself talking.
In an appearance before the Memphis Rotary Club in East Memphis, after remarks the folksy second termer fielded a variety of questions with an ease.
Sen. Corker's fellow senator, Lamar Alexander - even when he disagrees - it's in measured tones as in his reaction to a proposal, now mired in the Tennessee General Assembly to abolish primaries and let parties choose who will run the general elections.
"I don't think Tennesseans would take very well to their right to vote being taken away," he said. "I think the way the debate ended was good. I think people were able to discuss it."
In recent weeks, Sen. Corker has emerged as a man becoming an influential figure at the nation's capital. He was one of a dozen Republican senators invited to dine with President Barack Obama as a testimony to his highly regarded grasp on finance and economics.
Sen. Corker is also using his stature on the powerful foreign relations committee to get a solid read on the international scene; his recent trip where he spoke with leaders of Japan, China, and South Korea left him with the impression of fear that North Korean nuclear attack might lie more with the possibility of an accident than by intention.
"The South Korean military is made up of conscripts," he said. "In other words, they're not a professional army. They're there for a short amount of time. You could have a little thing happen. Somebody reacts a little bit more strongly than they should and then things escalate. So, I think, that's what people are a little bit more concerned about."
Sen. Corker also differentiated from his Republican cohorts in his assessment that he's more optimistic than ever an elusive "grand bargain" to solidly the country's future economic, stability can be reached.
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