U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander pretty much got rock star treatment from the enthusiastic crowd at last week’s meeting of the West Knox Republican Club.

It was standing   room only  in  the  largest meeting  room  at  Red  Lobster on Kingston Pike, with still more  guests  and members of  the  media spilling  out into the surrounding dining rooms, all to greet Tennessee’s former two-term governor, president of the University of Tennessee and sitting senator.

And Alexander didn’t disappoint his fans. He posed for the cameras with babies, local politicians, old friends and new, warmed up his audience with his trade- mark folksy stories and then got their colletive Republican blood churning with predictions of a
big win for Mitt Romney.

“Every major crisis we have ever had in this country has been solved by presidential leadership, and Obama just doesn’t have it,” Alexander said. “He’s been a complete failure when you look at the big problems we have.” 

“Romney’s biggest advantage is his ability to lead. It’s his best skill. America will have a
brighter future with Romney as president and [Paul] Ryan as vice president.

“I like it when Romney talks about how he worked across the aisle as governor of Massachusetts and got results. President Obama is a nice fellow, but he hasn’t been able to work across the aisle and get results, and I think the American people are tired of that. They want a president who can lead, who has presidential leader- ship and
who can work with Democrats and Republicans to reduce the debt and get the
country moving again.”

Alexander said his three personal goals in Congress are: “To stop spending money we don’t have …to let states make their own decisions … to get results in Congress.”

He deplored the tactics of   Democrat Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader. “Reid is ruining the U.S. Senate by the way he leads it. We’re there to work for the people, we want the Senate to function so we can get our jobs done, but Reid won’t bring us a budget. It’s like being asked to join the Grand Ole Opry and not being allowed to sing.”

While not exactly a “hometown boy” – he’s a native of Blount County – Alexander, a seventh generation Tennessean, knew his audience well and played it perfectly.

“Knox County is the heart of the Republican Party in Tennessee,” Alexander said. “We haven’t elected a Democrat to Congress from this part of the state since Lincoln was

The GOP faithful loved it and gave their senior senator a standing ovation.