This race — if it does become a race — will be a frequent topic of discussion on this blog in the coming months.
Sen. Thad Cochran (R) of Mississippi is up for re-election in 2008. If he runs, he’d win in a landslide. However, word has it that he is considering retirement. If that should happen, the Republicans’ likely “anointed successor” is Rep. Charles “Chip” Pickering of the 3rd Congressional District of Mississippi. The son of Judge Charles Pickering.
After the redistricting following the 2000 census, Mississippi lost a congressional seat. The results were that an incumbent Democrat had to run against an incumbent Republican in the new district. Pickering was that Republican, and he won re-election in a fairly tight race in 2002. In 2004 and 2006, he was allowed to cruise to re-election unopposed by a major party candidate.
And he just happens to be my Representative, at least for the time being. So I have a vested interest in seeing him out of office, and I certainly have no desire to ever have to refer to him as “Senator.”
Still…. Family name, political fixture in the state, Republican in a conservative state, (possibly) running for an open seat vacated by a Republican… looks good for Chip, right?
Chip has some skeletons in his closet, but I will be getting into those at a later date if circumstances warrant it. For the time being, he’s already begun to amass a nice record of voting against bills with broad popular support and the potential to do great good for America. As far as I can tell, it’s for no reason other than partisan spite.
Two particularly egregious examples are the “Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act” and the “Fair Minimum Wage Act.” The 9/11 bill passed yesterday, January 9, and the minimum wage bill passed today. Chip saw fit to vote against both, even while many from his own party crossed over and supported them.
Here are links to the roll call votes from the House of Representatives.
As the links in the last paragraph will show, the minimum wage bill raises minimum wage to $7.25 an hour within a little over 2 years following its enactment.
Perhaps we should ask Chip why he doesn’t want his constituents to get a raise?
The 9/11 Commission bill implements the recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission to help prevent further terrorist attacks upon the U.S.
Perhaps we should ask Chip why he voted against a bill to help secure America?
Or, considering how his party has been conducting business in recent years, maybe we should ask him if he supports the enemy.
Oh, of course it’s nothing more than — as I said — partisan spite. He voted against these bills because Democrats introduced them and Democrats voted absolutely 100% solidly for them. There were, for each bill, dozens of Republicans who voted for them as well.
If Cochran retires and Chip wants his seat, he should be aware that people are watching him and will hold him accountable for what he does. Even if Cochran does not retire, Chip will be up for re-election again in 2008. And he just might have an opponent this time.