The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 11/21/7

For the 19 new members of the Mississippi House of Representatives, the fever-pitched race for House speaker is putting them in a political vise even before they’ve had a chance to take the oath of office.

Clearly, all 122 state legislators are feeling the political heat – including those who have already made up their minds and committed to either incumbent House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, or to challenger Rep. Jeff Smith, D-Columbus.

For those state legislators who have actually committed to one camp or the other and whose commitments mean something – meaning they won’t “crawfish” at any discernible shift in the prevailing political winds – the pressure is enormous. If their candidate is on the short end of the stick come Jan. 8, 2008, they face a loss of power and influence regardless of their seniority and regardless of their eventual committee assignments.