Former Billy McCoy VPAC head Robert Hooks has made no bones about what he’s been up to in recent weeks. He’s traversing the great state of Mississippi trying to drum up support for Democrats and along the way gauge interest in candidates.
In a recent Facebook post, Hooks gives us all a little insight on who Mississippi Democrats consider as their bench.
“If you could be part of a group that would recruit a Democratic candidate for next year’s Senate race, who would you want? The names I hear most often, and in no particular order, are: Jim Hood, Brandon Presley, Ronnie Musgrove, Linda Whittington, Cecil Brown, Angela Cockerham, Travis Childers, Rickey Cole, Mike Moore, Ray Mabus, Brandon Jones, David Baria, and Connie Moran. If you prefer one or more in particular, or have a new name to add, please put it in the comments section! Also- would you be willing to work on a team, several hours a week, to recruit and lay the groundwork for a high quality person? If so, click “like”.”
Commenters to the post were widely split, with no clear consensus, which honestly isn’t surprising given the state of disarray the Mississippi Democratic Party has found themselves in since the 2010 and 2011 elections.
But what’s clear is these are the names Republicans should be watching, vetting and researching because Mississippi Democrats believe these to be their future, not necessarily for 2014 as the question above would have us believe, but for the 2015 statewide elections and beyond.
What’s telling is that of the names mentioned half are has beens and the other half, save perhaps Hood and Presley, have no real name recognition to speak of outside of their primary area of the state, and this includes Moran who ran a haphazard campaign for State Treasurer in 2011.
It would seem plausible that Democrats would try to resurrect and rebrand a has been with at least some name ID and the ability to raise a few bucks if they want to truly vie for U.S. Senate. But will a Mabus, a Moore or a Musgrove seriously consider a comeback run knowing the reality of Mississippi’s current political landscape? Only if the line of bull they are sold is thick or their head is thicker.
Truth is Mississippi Democrats have no real bench to draw from for regional or statewide runs. It will take at least another election cycle of two coupled with a Republican collapse to make Democrats a viable option again in Magnolia State politics.
I know Democratic Chairman Rickey Cole likes to believe Mississippi is still a two party state. He’s right if you’re focused on local government. But beyond the confines of City Hall nary a Democrat will enter a race regionally or statewide with a legitimate chance of winning unless you’re in the 2nd Congressional District, and even that one is likely to steadily shift right in future redistricting.
So pick a Democrat, any Democrat. They are merely sacrificial lambs being led to electoral slaughter in Mississippi, and what’s more, the Democrat establishment knows it.