Gail Collins: Mississippi Goes for the Money | NYTimes

Gail Collins

How Did Brett Favre Help Thad Cochran in His Senate Race?

Mississippi has sent us a message. I believe it boils down to: We Want Our Stuff.

Big election night! As you no doubt have heard, Senator Thad Cochran, a Republican who specializes in sending billions of dollars in federal pork back into his state, defeated a Tea Party challenger who ran against government spending.

It wasn’t easy. Cochran’s fierce and energetic opponent, Chris McDaniel, forced him into a primary runoff. To survive, Cochran turned to Democrats, who took advantage of Mississippi’s open primary laws and tossed Thad a vote. Or at least turned out to give McDaniel a kick in the shin.

“We are not prone to surrender, we Mississippians,” McDaniel declaimed once the results were announced. “A strong and sturdy people we are. A brave people we are!” He appeared to either be planning to demand an investigation or try out for a role in the next Hobbit sequel.

The runoff was kind of fascinating. Cochran, who is something less than a fireball orator, rambled on at one event about his childhood visits to a farm and doing “all kinds of indecent things with animals.” One of the many, many political action committees involved in the campaign put that in a McDaniel ad, along with a rant about Obamacare and a demand that voters “tell Thad Cochran you’re no farm animal.”

Meanwhile, McDaniel got support on the stump from former “The Dating Game” host Chuck Woolery and the parents from the reality show “19 Kids and Counting.” I am not sure how all these thoughts merge together, but as you can see, it was way more interesting than your average Senate primary.

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“Or at least maybe someday, if the president needs a vote, Cochran will remember who gave him a hand, and return the favor.”

I wouldn’t bet anything on that…

To read the rest of Ms. Collins’ column and my comments, click here.


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