As No. 100 in Senate, Corker's Desk On Back Row

Memphis (AP) -- When Republican Bob Corker takes the oath of office in the US Senate, his ambitions for Tennessee start on the back row of the chamber now controlled by Democrats.

As successor to retiring Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and with the lightest seniority in the chamber, what does such a starting point mean for Tennessee's stature?

Corker's swearing-in is set Thursday and Political Analyst Marcus Pohlmann at Rhodes College in Memphis says Tennessee's "position has been weakened."

Pohlmann says Tennessee is a predominantly Republican State and the Republicans aren't in control anymore. He says Frist's departure is a "pretty significant loss" for the state.

Two days after Democrats won both houses of Congress, Corker joked in Memphis about his humble status as the lone GOP newcomer to the Senate, saying he will be getting a lot of special attention as the only one in his Republican class.

Senate Historian Donald Ritchie says the former Chattanooga mayor will have to attract attention from a back row desk.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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