Right now, hard-line conservatives would clone Ted Cruz if they could. But with 2014 around the corner, they might be able to do the next best thing.
McDaniel, who has been serving as a state senator since 2008, is exactly the type of candidate whom establishment Republicans have been worrying about, the kind who leads moderate-to-conservative lawmakers to dig their heels in with the right flank of their party so as not to be called wimpy. Within moments of announcing his candidacy, McDaniel earned the triple crown of conservative endorsements: one from the Club for Growth, one from the Senate Conservative Fund, and one from the Madison Project. He has criticized Cochran for voting in favor of the deal that reopened the government and raised the debt ceiling.
To McDaniel, the shutdown was not a mistake; the Republican leadership “lacks passion,” and he’s ready to come to D.C. to “do everything he can to put a stake in the heart of Obamacare.”
Candidates out there like McDaniel are the Xanax for depressed conservatives. They know they’ve lost this particular fight, but they can numb themselves a bit believing that reinforcements are waiting in the wings.