Cindy Hyde-Smith has chosen odd company to keep for someone who claims to want to “be an example” unless her goal is to be an example of what is wrong in government and politics.
Mississippi’s newly appointed US Senator, Cindy Hyde-Smith, tells Roll Call in a Q&A session she hopes to be “an example to other folks.” She would do well in her efforts if she started by discussing with her own campaign staff what kind of example she intends to be.
Hyde-Smith is running for the seat to complete Thad Cochran’s unfinished term after he resigned due to health reasons. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed her to fill the vacancy between April 9, the day she was sworn in, and the special election set for November. The appointment continues a tactic used by Mississippi Republicans to appoint hand-picked successors to the US Senate in order to give them time to establish themselves in office and gain political support through the power of incumbency.
But Hyde-Smith’s campaign has had a rocky start. Even before she was sworn in, Hyde-Smith’s comments to the Meridian Star Editorial Board gave the impression she wasn’t prepared to address key policy issues she would face in the months ahead. When asked what she hoped to accomplish she was was quoted as saying:
“…if we could create significant legislation that could compound, capitalize on the economy here in this state, people would say ‘wow, she created jobs. She went there and … seized an opportunity. There was a moment in a committee meeting that she knew to strike at that time that secured …the economy of Mississippi.’”
No one is ever truly fully-prepared to jump from relative political obscurity as a state agriculture commissioner into an appointment for US Senate. But, the public rightfully expects someone who can speak with some basic understanding of the upcoming federal legislation they might face. Most Mississippi Republicans would likely add to that the expectation to correctly communicate simple concepts of conservative thought about governments role and the reality of being a US Senator.
Few would agree with Hyde-Smith characterizing herself as someone who, in a single moment in one committee meeting, could “seize an opportunity” to “create jobs” and “secure the economy of Mississippi.”
There were other comments that suggested a cause for concern.
“I just want to get in there and just capitalize on the things Mississippians believe in — the life that we enjoy here and what makes that possible and the conservative values that we have here in Mississippi… and helping the president promote his agenda,” Hyde-Smith told The Star’s editorial board.
If that comment promotes anything, it’s confusion.
Now, a month later, Hyde-Smith’s campaign sent a widely distributed fundraising email yesterday that missed the mark … twice. Maybe it was an attempt to gain some much-needed footing for her candidacy, but two misrepresentations indicate Hyde-Smith’s campaign hasn’t hit the ground running, it’s just hit the ground.
The email message was written as if from Hyde-Smith, who told prospective donors, “I have the support of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.”
Trump and Pence have not endorsed Hyde-Smith. To the contrary, White House officials warned Governor Phil Bryant against appointing Hyde-Smith fearing her switch from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party in 2011, before launching her campaign for Ag Commissioner, would hurt her chances in the heavily Republican state of Mississippi.
Hyde-Smith’s campaign communications director Jordan Russell tried to downplay the claim of the Presidents endorsement as a “drafting error” to the media, the fault of an email vendor who sent the wrong copy. But, he apparently doesn’t try to excuse the other false claim in the fundraising email, which reads:
“Unlike my opponents, I don’t have the backing of deep-pocketed special interest groups like most candidates running for Senate.”
This part of the emailed message is also completely false. Hyde-Smith is supported by the National Chamber of Commerce, a heavy-hitter among Republican political establishment special interest groups known for their support of amnesty for illegal immigrants, and their support of Big Government programs, such as the Import-Export Bank, government stimulus packages and corporate government bailouts that benefit large corporations at the expense of taxpayers. They love to lobby for federal handouts and regulation as much as Mississippi’s government and corporate cronies love to receive it.
Hyde-Smith has chosen odd company to keep for someone who claims to want to “be an example,” unless her goal is to be an example of what is wrong in our government and our poltical discourse. So far, her statements to the media and communications from her campaign only show an example of a campaign and a candidate willing to deceive voters.
The political con-game continues.