As the Mississippi primary ticks down to its closing hours, Senator Thad Cochran finally came out of his witness protection program to give an interview with the Washington Post. But in that interview, he clearly shows why he is unfit to represent Republicans in the state of Mississippi:
During his campaign stop at the hospital, Cochran had not mentioned the Affordable Care Act, a flash point for Republicans in this campaign year. In his brief interview after that event, he was asked about the law — how he evaluated the state of play over it and what he would do about it in another term.
“I think we need to monitor any federal programs that provide services and assistance to people who need help, and this is an example of an important effort by the federal government to help make health care available, accessible and affordable,” he said. “We have probably one of the best health-care systems in the country, in the world, and we’ll need to continue to work to make sure it meets the expectations and needs of the American people. I’m glad to be involved in that effort.”
A short time later, a Cochran adviser called to say there was disagreement aboard Cochran’s bus about whether the question had been about Obamacare or the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He said Cochran was among those on the bus who thought the question was about VA.
No wonder Cochran supporters are now soliciting Democrats to vote for him in the primary!
Whether the story coming out of the Cochran campaign is true or not is irrelevant. This episode proves one of two things about Cochran – both of which are true. He is either a full-throated supporter of big government or he is not lucid enough to engage in political discourse and serve another term in the Senate. This interview, along with one he did with a local reporter in which he called himself “nasty,” paints a clear picture of someone who is no longer coherent.
Here is another portion of the Post interview that caught my attention:
Cochran said he is running because others encouraged him to seek another term. “I thought it was time for me to retire,” he said. “I thought I’d served long enough.. . . But people were saying, what are we going to do without you?”
The back story behind Cochran’s run for reelection is a perfect example of how tragically corrupt our system has become. This is a man who clearly does not share our party’s principles and is undoubtedly not in position to serve another term. He should have been allowed to retire with dignity. Yet, the political class could not allow someone like Chris McDaniel to win an open seat.
It was clear to all of us that Cochran did not intend to run again. He was not raising money and he was long overdo for retirement. But once Chris McDaniel got into the race, people like Haley Barbour felt that their entire career of pay-for-play would be threatened by the conservative insurgency. The spigot would be shut off. It’s hard to prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt, but Barbour and the local barons probably put him up to running for reelection, creating a dynamic which, in their minds, would ensure certain defeat for McDaniel. Then they’d have Cochran resign within a year and appoint another empty suit that would do the bidding of K Street. This is the first time Cochran himself has vouched for this rumor, as he noted that he planned to retire, but was encouraged by “people” to run.
Indeed what would people like Haley Barbour do without Cochran in power? How could they operate with someone like McDaniel in his place.
There’s only one way we will ever prove this conjecture, but hopefully we will not have to find out.