Congress: Endorsements offered

1st District – Republican challenger state Sen. Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo’s superior experience in the legislative process and his commitment to fiscal responsibility make him the best choice over Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Travis Childers and seven independent or minor party candidates.

We endorsed Childers in 2008 with high expectations after his long, successful tenure as the Prentiss County chancery clerk. But when tough issues like the public debate over health care reform began, Childers retreated behind electronic town hall meetings and other means designed to isolate him from fully engaging with constituents who had legitimate concerns about that landmark legislation. That was unfortunate.

The Republican midterm election playbook of painting Childers as a political lackey of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been used ad nauseam by the Nunnelee camp, an allegation that is obviously bogus.

But Childers seems to struggle in reconciling his conservative personal politics with his party’s national platform at a time when partisanship is increasingly the only matrix upon which Capitol Hill functions.

The Childers campaign has resorted to attempts to sully Nunnelee’s reputation – he “likes” the Fair Tax on Facebook!?! – as a wild-eyed tax raiser. The record just doesn’t reflect that. Yet Nunnelee does have a solid track record of not sidestepping tough issues or political confrontations. In wrestling with the nation’s debts and deficits over the next few years, that is a quality to be valued.

Clarion Ledger Editorial