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Et tu, Conservative Coalition?
Tate Reeves has scored a coup that may get totally missed by the media
By Alan Lange
Today, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves added to the list of Republican Senators endorsing him. The number, now 28, is not as impressive as who it now includes. Reeves has essentially gutted his core intra-party opposition in the Senate.

In mid-2013, a newly styled Conservative Coalition came on the scene. It was roughly 11 senators who liked the idea of being more conservative than the average conservative. When Sen. Chris McDaniel started his build up to run for US Senate, it became pretty apparent that the Conservative Coalition was really just a stalking horse for that effort. The Senators that were involved were pitting themselves, to one degree or another, squarely against Reeves and “the establishment”.

To their credit, a few members sniffed out early that the Conservative Coalition as it stood was basically not much more than a platform for McDaniel and jumped off the train. But a few did hang around through the runoff.

In December, Reeves took a lot of heat for changing his stance on Common Core. But in so doing, he set the table for bringing all but three of the flock back into the fold. According to Tate Reeves’ press release today, the only three Republican senators who are not actively endorsing him for re-election are Chris McDaniel, Michael Watson and Melanie Sojourner.

Different senators probably have different reasons for making the move. Sen. Tony Smith is running for Southern District PSC. Being actively on the other side of Reeves was probably not good for that effort. Other converts may be avoiding a re-election challenge in their own districts.

Regardless of the reason, Reeves has effectively put down the mutiny and it makes it almost impossible for me to believe that Chris McDaniel will run for Lt. Governor now because Reeves has siphoned off the key folks that McDaniel would look to for leadership.

Make no mistake, this is inside baseball, but Reeves played this like a fiddle.

THE REST OF THE STORY

So where does this leave McDaniel? Again, I think it’s entirely unlikely that McDaniel will run for Lt. Gov. First, as much as it appears that he dislikes Reeves personally, I think he’d lose. He could make it interesting, but that’s about it. Second, he admitted that DC is really where he wants to be. It appears that he bad wants to be on FoxNews, talk radio and the Sunday talk shows and wallow in the ego trappings of the Beltway. It looks like he has his sights set on Steven Palazzo, and Palazzo should be taking a McDaniel potential candidacy pretty seriously but running an active campaign starting right now.

He still has his grifting PAC fund that he’s set up a month ago. Again, if his plan was to run for Lt. Governor all along, it would have made no sense to set up the PAC. I’m sure he basks in the attention of the conversation, and I have no doubt that it’s good to raise money from, but it just doesn’t seem to be a serious conversation.

There are eight days left in the candidate shopping season. Next Friday, all the speculation will be over and we can get down to the business of #mselex 2015.

Posted February 19, 2015 - 3:48 pm

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