FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Thad Cochran and What is Wrong with Politics
Let’s put aside ideology for a moment and ignore the fact that there is not a single conservative bone in Thad Cochran’s body. What is more disturbing is that he clearly has not been able to effectively represent Mississippi for quite some time, and certainly will not serve as a vibrant voice for another six years.
Throughout the primary in Mississippi, all the media cared about was the torrent of oppo hits thrown at Chris McDaniel. They never seemed interested in asking why Cochran was so scarce on the campaign trail or the Senate floor or why he declined to debate McDaniel. Finally, on the day of the primary, Molly Ball penned an article for Atlantic basically publicizing what we all know to be true about Cochran:
I followed Cochran from the square to a local diner, Jean’s Restaurant, where patrons swiveled away from plastic plates of boiled okra and corn fritters to shake his hand. On the wall were two framed photographs of Chris McDaniel. The restaurant’s owner, Diane Trammell, told me McDaniel had visited twice and stayed for an hour each time. “I don’t recall the last time I seen Thad,” she said. She’d always voted for Cochran in the past, but now she wasn’t sure.
Cochran didn’t pose for any pictures during his brief sweep. As he made his way toward the exit, the senator held out his hand to me. I had met and interviewed him less than half an hour before.
“Hello, how are you doing?” he said with a kindly smile. “I’m Thad Cochran.”
It’s hard to tell exactly where Thad Cochran is holding, but I can guarantee you that if one of our candidates was losing touch with reality, there would be a non-stop media circus aimed at discrediting him. Cochran’s campaign is disgruntled and outraged over Ball’s story, but if the her insinuation is unfounded then why not agree to debate McDaniel? Either way, any candidate who is unfit to engage in a debate during the most contentious runoff election of the year should not stand for reelection.
And sadly, if Cochran would be left to his own devices he probably would retire. He seemed to hint at that in a Washington Post interview last week. Yet, Haley Barbour and the local robber barons have too much riding on this. They cannot lose their millions in lobbying fees, even if that means running a Senator who can no longer perform his duties.
Folks, I’m not worried about losing this runoff. It’s almost impossible for Cochran’s campaign to muster enough votes to stay competitive for three weeks. It’s clear that they were only able to deny Chris the requisite 50% needed to avoid a runoff by turning out Democrat voters in counties Obama won in the Delta region. Those people will not turn out in a runoff. We will win this whether he stays in or not.
It’s just sad that the political class has reached a point where they are willing to ruin a man’s retirement just so they can keep their own pay-for-play operation alive. This is why so many people are turned off by politics.