Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker continues his effort to get as much distance as possible from his abysmal voting record by attaching himself to President Donald Trump and distancing himself from Mitch McConnell. Meanwhile, Wicker’s campaign surrogates in the state, who have repeatedly attacked Mississippi conservatives, are struggling to find footing as talk of a primary challenge from Senator Chris McDaniel ramps up.
Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Roger Wicker's support of Mitch McConnell is a big problem. But so is Roger Wicker's own poor voting record. Do you think Wicker should be challenged in a Republican primary?
Posted by Mississippi PEP on Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Wicker’s effort to reinvent himself in time for campaign season is looking more and more like a case of ‘too little too late’.
Focusing on isolating the votes of their favored candidates in order to spin their full-record has been a favorite tactic of the political operatives of the GOP for years. But even more isolating to the old-guard has been paying lip-service to coalition building and aiding campaigns with technology. Meanwhile, conservatives have used both to fight past political smears from opposition. Relying on the cocky reassurances of their own cleverness, the political establishment has refused to modernize how they go about governing or communicating their message to the public. They instead have become adept at smear campaigns and the type of political pandering we see now from Senator Wicker.
The GOP establishment in Mississippi and at the federal level works today under the same basic coalition of class alliances developed in the early 90’s. This has led to the lazy and divisive tactic of slime-balling primary opponents rather than understanding the error of their own misguided and failing approach. They grasp at political power instead of honestly assessing challenges and instead of becoming better at communicating solutions to fundamental root problems. These problems have been brought on by governing policies that simply have not worked for average working class citizens. They haven’t worked for Mississippi and they haven’t worked for the country.
One of Louisiana’s leading conservative websites, The Hayride, took notice of Sen. Wicker’s attempts to distance himself from McConnell and attach himself to Trump. Corey Vaughn writes that Wicker,
presumably learning from the Alabama race, is doing everything he can to prove himself as a pro-Trumper. When Bob Corker made his rant against Trump earlier this week, it was a line in the sand where many Republicans had to declare where they stood. Wicker chose Trump.
But once again, the Achilles heel is the McConnell connection. In an interview with Wicker, Breitbart specifically asked whether Wicker thought McConnell did enough to reign in Corker, a question that Wicker didn’t respond to.
Wicker criticized Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) for attacking Trump on Tuesday, which Wicker did both on CNN and in an exclusive in which he doubled down on criticizing Corker to Breitbart News in an exclusive follow-up.
But, as Breitbart News noted earlier, Wicker refused to answer two specific questions regarding McConnell’s role in Corker’s anti-Trump obstinance. First, Wicker refused to answer whether he believes McConnell is doing enough to rein in Corker—who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—in his battle with President Trump. Second, Wicker refused to answer whether he supports a convening of the Senate GOP conference to vote on removing Corker as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
And to add more spice to the gumbo, a lot of talk is going around in Mississippi about Thad Cochran’s poor health, which looks like is going to cause him to resign sooner than later. That would leave Gov. Phil Bryant with the option of appointing McDaniel to the position in Cochran’s place, which many Mississippi voters would see as poetic justice.
More than anything, this will be the race that determines what’s really happening in the Republican Party. Some are still calling Moore’s victory a fluke that only came about because of special circumstances in Alabama. My guess is that McDaniel and Bannon have something to say about that.