By Alan Lange
It’s hard to believe that regularly scheduled US Senate primaries will be decided in 98 days. For a political campaign, that’s the blink of an eye, especially for a candidate that hasn’t even filed to run yet.
Chris McDaniel “showed a little leg” last night in his announced pre-announcing announcement on Facebook Live. Here, he announced an event at Jones County Community College this Wednesday saying that viewers should “read between the lines” about what the announcement would be about.
Even Mississippi Today published an uncommonly useful interview with McDaniel. Among other things, he tried mightily to distance himself from Steve Bannon and he acknowledged Trump’s endorsement of Roger Wicker saying that sometimes Trump has to make those sorts of endorsements “to get his point across”.
Rick Tyler’s History Against Donald Trump
Some of the most interesting information of the day came from Politico which said that McDaniel had “recruited” (not hired) Rick Tyler and John Yob. The AP got a quote from Tyler . . .
Republican strategist Rick Tyler told The Associated Press in an interview Monday that he is “helping” McDaniel, although McDaniel “doesn’t have a campaign.”
“He’s a state senator and he’s got a political career and I do political advising, guide people through decisions,” Tyler said. “He’s a pretty smart guy.”
Tyler is a fascinating choice to be the brain trust for a prospective campaign. Though known as the lead attack dog for Ted Cruz, Tyler (now among other things a MSNBC contributor) has evolved as probably the most vocal conservative against Donald Trump. Here is just a look.
In July 2017, he declared President Trump’s presidency as “effectively over”
Just last month, he predicted the impeachment of Donald Trump with Republican help.
“And I think to the point where they will impeach him and they will get 67 percent of the vote in the Senate to impeach him, to do that. But it will require a wipeout.”.
In August 2017, Rick Tyler said that Trump’s Presidential Approval numbers should put his campaign on “suicide watch”
Tyler’s Twitter account has been a non stop barrage of insults to President Trump
From Nov 2017 – “classless jerk”
Pocahontas, a Powhatan, is an historic American figure. Yes, Trump is a classless jerk. Sad that her name is now considered a racial slur.
— Rick Tyler (@rickwtyler) November 28, 2017
From July 2017 – “whiney victimhood”
President Trump takes his whiney victimhood to the world stage. https://t.co/0Nv8UomVra
— Rick Tyler (@rickwtyler) July 6, 2017
From May 2017 – “unamiable dunce”
Trump, the unamiable dunce. https://t.co/AxWrc9KyqK
— Rick Tyler (@rickwtyler) May 2, 2017
October 2016 – “laughing stock and a punchline”
.@WWRD_AG Trump doesn't need any help from me in making himself a laughing stock and a punchline.
— Rick Tyler (@rickwtyler) October 1, 2016
And here’s Tyler 2 WEEKS BEFORE THE 2016 election saying that Hillary Clinton beating Trump wouldn’t be that bad.
“So we won’t lose the republic… I don’t think we lose the republic. You know, I think the danger of having Donald Trump represent the Republican party as its titular head will cause more long-term damage. The party is splitting now and the question is is it going to survive after this election? “
He also predicted Trump’s defeat
On Nov 9, if (when) Trump loses, what are the screaming New York City tabloid headlines? Example: TRUMP CHOKES
— Rick Tyler (@rickwtyler) October 18, 2016
McDaniel’s political Achilles heel has always been the people he surrounds himself with. In a state where Republican support of Donald Trump is in the mid-high 80%+ range, having the most avowed anti-Trump conservative on the national stage be forward-facing in a McDaniel campaign, if it happens, is indeed a head-scratcher.
That in conjunction with McDaniel’s own critical statements of Trump regarding his dedication to constitutional principals, the recent tax cuts and handling repeal and replace will essentially allow Wicker (if McDaniel gets in) to make this a referendum on Trump in Mississippi. Wicker should like those odds. Having Rick Tyler be the focal point of a McDaniel campaign should make it that much easier for Wicker to elicit help from Team Trump.
Whatever McDaniel announces on Wednesday, there are some fascinating scenarios that could unfold. Imagine this. What if McDaniel does jump in the race against Wicker and Cochran retires in March. Then Governor Bryant would have to choose a successor (and it would be someone other than McDaniel). The election day for that seat would be set by statute (at the November General Election) BUT the qualifying deadline for that race would not be set by statute. Bryant could set a 60 day qualifying deadline which would in essence for McDaniel’s hand mid-stream of staying in the race against Wicker or dropping out for the Cochran replacement seat.
Or Cochran could stay in office indefinitely and force McDaniel to “blow his wad” and outside money on the Wicker race.
We are heading into some relatively uncharted territory here, but stay tuned to Y’all Politics for the most complete coverage of Mississippi political races this year.