Tagged: Travis Childers

Sen. Cochran’s new Chief of Staff: A very good choice

Brad White, Sen. U.S. Thad Cochran’s district director, will be moving to Washington, D.C. in early January, to be the new chief of staff for Mississippi’s senior senator. White replaces Keith Heard who will return to the private sector as a lobbyist. White is an excellent choice to replace Heard. A former state chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, White has an impressive resume in state politics and Mississippi government. Despite his extensive state political and state government experience, some might question White’s lack of Washington experience. That is not an issue. Most chiefs of staff have political experience, are expected to manage the member’s staff, and serve as a senator or representative’s right-hand man or woman. White won’t have any problem handling any of those duties or other assignments Sen. Cochran might give him. Actual Washington and Capital Hill experience is more important for the usual number two staff position, the legislative director. Cochran’s existing staff has solid experience in that important area.

Gov. Bryant should back off telling people Sen. Cochran should resign and will not serve his full term

Thad Cochran just turned 79. Almost as soon as he was re-elected in 2014 when he defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel in a very close Republican Primary and Democrat Travis Childers in the general election, speculation soon became common that Cochran would not serve his full six-year term. Those reports continue to swell and it is no secret Gov. Phil Bryant is pouring fuel on those fires. There are several reports Bryant has told people in both Mississippi and Washington Cochran should retire before his term expires in four years. Reports Cochran will retire in a year or so have spiked several interesting rumors. If Cochran would resign, as Sen. Trent Lott did several years ago,

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Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District Should be Safe for Republicans, However…

Looking at the numbers, Republicans should feel very confident about holding the seat of the late U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee. In the last two presidential elections Republicans John McCain and Mitch Romney both carried Mississippi’s First Congressional District by the same margin, 62-37 percent over President Obama. Since Jamie Whitten retired in 1995, Republicans Roger Wicker and Nunnelee have represented the First Congressional District except for the one term when Democrat Travis Childers held the seat before being defeated by Nunnelee. In the race won by Childers, the leading Republican candidates were then Southaven mayor Greg Davis, who was backed by former Sen. Trent Lott, and former Tupelo mayor Glenn McCullough, who was supported by Sen. Thad Cochran. Davis, as time would show, was a flawed candidate who later lost his re-election as mayor and was then convicted of state embezzlement charges.

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Thanks to the Tea Party, Mary Landrieu’s Campaign is Still Alive

The re-election campaign of three-term U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana may be on life support but she’s still alive thanks to tea party candidate Rob Maness. Under Louisiana’s version of the open primary, called the “jungle primary,” there will now be a Dec. 6 runoff between Landrieu and Republican congressman Bill Cassidy. Except for Maness, there would be no runoff and in January the liberal Landrieu would be an ex-U.S. Senator and Cassidy would be the junior senator from Louisiana. There’s no doubt that Landrieu is an underdog in the runoff but she now still has a chance because of the Maness candidacy. When the votes were counted on Nov. 4 and it was clear that Landrieu is in trouble for the runoff, she quickly challenged Cassidy to six debates.

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Leftovers from MEC’s Hobnob Event

The Mississippi Economic Council (MEC), the state’s chamber of commerce, held its annual Hobnob on October 29. As usual, a large crowd estimated at about 1,800 people attended. The format was about the same as in previous years. The eight statewide elected officials and House Speaker Philip Gunn each spoke for about 10 minutes except for Gov. Phil Bryant, properly so, was given 15 minutes. Because of the U.S. Senate contest, longtime incumbent Republican Thad Cochran and his Democrat opponent, former congressman Travis Childers, were also allocated time. MEC officials gave each speaker a lavish introduction that would probably equal those given for a George Washington or Thomas Jefferson. In their brief allocated time each elected official gave an equally glowing report of the wonderful things they have done during their term in office. A few other impressions:

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Neshoba County Fair Observations

Much larger crowds on Thursday – On Wednesday, the first of two days of political speaking at this year’s Neshoba County Fair, the crowds were much smaller than the turnout on Thursday. Besides local candidates on Wednesday the headline were Central District Public Service Commissioner Lynn Posey, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, State Auditor Stacey Pickering, Attorney General Jim Hood, and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves. Reeves by far pulled the largest audience at Founders Square. Pickering proved again that he is one of the best stump speakers among statewide elected officials. The larger crowds Thursday were probably because of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, his Democrat opponent Travis Childers, and Governor Phil Bryant.  I expect the spectators also swelled because of the possible protest/demonstration by tea party supporters of Chris McDaniel and people didn’t want to miss the fun. The other speakers Thursday were Ag Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, Treasurer Lynn Fitch, former governor William Winter, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, and House Speaker Philip Gunn.

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