I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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Washington journalists getting all silly about the Republican primary in Mississippi

The national media is getting all ready to get worked up with the idea that the primary race between Sen. Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel is going to be a real contest.  Sam Hall on his Clarion Ledger blog noted a story in the National Journal yesterday.  After noting that seven sitting Republicans have drawn Tea Party (or Tea Party-esque) challengers, the article states:

Of the seven primary challenges, Republican strategists view the Mississippi Senate race as the only contest where the challenger has a serious shot at winning.


How seriously confused are these articles?  Well, a second one, today on the Examiner, illustrates just how confused:

This morning on the MSNBC show, “NOW with Alex Wagner”, she reports that Democrats in Mississippi are registering with the Republican Party so they can stop Tea Party backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel who is challenging Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran who will be seeking his seventh term in 2014.

People, could you check something before posting it online?  There is no party registration in Mississippi.  If I, or, for that matter, the head of the state Democratic party, want to vote in the Republican primary on election day, all I have to do is present myself at the appropriate polling place with a photo ID.

Apparently confusion about this issue is not limited to the Washington DC area– I learned of the article about Democrats “registering” as Republicans from the YallPolitics site.  Not sure what agenda is being served by YallPolitics serving up that link, but there it is.

After Sam Hall linked his blog post on Twitter, I wrote:

I am very dubious about that National Journal article. Do you know anyone who says McDaniel has a chance?

Sam responded:

No. But I can see it happening. It comes down to how Thad runs. But I still say Cochran walks away with it.

If the national media want to invent from whole cloth a serious tea party primary contest, I wish they’d go to Kentucky to do it.

18 comments to Washington journalists getting all silly about the Republican primary in Mississippi

  • Ben

    Move along, people. Nothing to see here. Cochran will dispose of McDaniel as easily as he might flick a piece of lint from his lapel. I will be one of those holding my nose as I stand in the Republican primary line to vote for Cochran. Again.

  • Terminator

    McDaniel is a nutcase and, as the campaign moves along, that will become obvious to the general voters. I’m sure many people are like me, sick of hearing his radio spots this early touting that he FILED a suit against bommer care. So what, so did thousand of other folks. News flash: none of them won.

    I call myself a moderate conservative for now, but as time goes on I am starting to think I’m just sick of both the right and the left. As I near retirement, I may look into Central America or some island to retreat to.

  • “Washington journalists getting all silly about the Republican primary in Mississippi.”


  • Hey, there are enough of those nuts in Kentucky!

  • Ben

    But wait … there’s more: WaPo, Dec. 12:

    “…, Cochran has a much better chance of losing than does McConnell.”


    What do I know?–I was a lowly PE major. But I think Cochran could slap together some colorful TV ads showing him sitting in his office, speaking directly into the camera, mouthing pithy little plugs about all the things in Mississippi named after him, and win his election.

    But as for my prognostic skills and abilities: let the record reflect that I predicted that the USA would participate in the 1980 Olympics, our opposition to Soviet military actions in Afghanistan notwithstanding. My, my … how things do change.

  • Flaw in your post is the supposition that these are journalists. The internet killed journalism. These are opinions, observations based on no factual observation whatsoever, and bloated bloviations, as is most of the content on the internet (and much of print media nowadays).

  • Ben

    Larry: ‘Course … that’s just your opinion.

  • James Chaney, Ph.D.

    The last thing our state needs is a US senator from the tea party.

  • Ben … “I yam what I yam.” (Popeye reference).

  • The real story is McDaniel’s career disloyalty. And I’m not talking about silly CSA events. I’m talking professional disloyalty. Not only is he a trial lawyer (interesting the Republicans don’t seem to care when it’s one of their own), he cheated a business partner out of a million dollars not that long ago. http://darkhorsemississippi.blogspot.com/2013/12/et-tu-tea-bagger-state-sen-chris.html

  • And then there’s the familiar Tea Party storyline for candidates like McDaniel, which is McDaniel’s potential alienation of female voters under age sixty. Not sure Democrats or Republican establishment can brand him as waging a war on women, but the national media will try to do so (successful or not). I had fun with it in making this video anyway. http://darkhorsemississippi.blogspot.com/2013/12/tea-party-candidate-chris-mcdaniel.html

  • Thanks for the link, Dark – I was unaware of your blog!

  • Ben

    Dark: I respectfully invite you return here often, with more insightful information. You blog link on McDaniel’s disloyal treatment of a partner was quite enlightening … but not surprising.

  • Thanks, Ben and thusbloggedanderson. I will be around.

  • I admire and respect Trey for using his real name. I am unable to do that for professional reasons. But Trey comes from Ellisville where Mr. McDaniel resides, and nothing in his retort to the original blog justifies Mr. McDaniel’s fratricidal behavior. Attorneys understand that adversarial duties are one thing and that we represent clients zealously and in doing so tend to exploit every semicolon to our client’s advantage.

    But duties to one’s own partner should not be viewed as legalistically as Trey is attempting to view them. The question to ask first and from a purely academic standpoint is, legally, do attorneys agree with what happened to Martindale, especially given our appeals courts’ inconsistent rulings in this area of law involving chancellors tabling the equities of a contract dispute for the smallest, most intimate business organizations?

    But the second and more important question that voters should ask themselves is not academic but moral. And this is the one that Trey does not answer: do you believe that McDaniel has personally or professionally compromised himself by showing that he lacks loyalty to a partner to whom he owed that loyalty and for whom the consequence was financially devastating?

    As a preview to an upcoming blog, I’ll say this in response to Trey’s angel-on-the-head-of-a-pin counting. He points out that the Chancellor and higher courts upheld McDaniel’s actions. What he leaves out is that even the Chancellor bristled at the actions of McDaniel, even if those actions were ultimately upheld based upon (what I believe to be) flawed contract construction and legal reasoning that made the chancellor tie his own hands from touching upon the equities of the expulsion of Martindale.

    I have a follow-up to the McDaniel/Martindale blog based upon additional research that I think will be even more convincing for those interested in this little sidebar issue to what is sure to be an election about a thousand other voting and character issues. However, I am waiting until the new year just before the legislature comes back to town to publish it. Even WWI foes had a Christmas Truce across the trenches.

  • WantedToBeALawyer

    Begun the federal senate wars have.

  • Frank

    McDaniel may be a lot of things, and I am not his biggest fan. However, I can tell you after years of practicing against him, that he is not a trial lawyer. He’s a damn fine attorney, but the overwhelming majority of his practice is corporate and insurance defense.

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