It’s been one week since Governor Phil Bryant named Cindy Hyde-Smith as the designated successor to retiring Senator Thad Cochran but what we have seen thus far from the appointee is far from any semblance of statesmanship. Her actions are that of a mere politician.
One might expect a newly appointed United States Senator to immediately reach out to the people she is to represent in Washington, to let them see their new Senator as often as possible. I would have advised her to do several sit-down interviews with media outlets around Mississippi, then schedule a. number of town hall meetings in each part of the state as well. The idea being to begin acting like a United States Senator immediately.
But that’s not what we saw. The day after the big announcement, Cindy Hyde-Smith hit the campaign trail, launched a campaign website, and began getting ready for the November special election. This tells me that she’s very much afraid of Chris McDaniel and realizes her vulnerabilities, especially after getting snubbed by President Trump and discovering she is in third place in a three-person race.
She has provided no specific details about her views on federal issues, aside from some very general statements on her website and, as far as I can tell, made not a peep about the very controversial omnibus spending bill. One would think that a newly appointed US Senator, even one that has not yet taken the oath of office, to at least make some public statement concerning so important of an issue. But politicians do not take controversial stances.
In related news, it was announced yesterday that she will be awarded some plum committee assignments, namely Appropriations, Rules, and Agriculture, essentially stepping into Thad Cochran’s committee seats, although she will not chair a committee, being the body’s newest member. But it was also announced that Cochran’s chief of staff will remain to serve her in the same capacity, and we can only assume a number of Cochran staffers will remain as well.
This speaks volumes: Mitch McConnell is supportive of her appointment, or she would have received the worst committee assignments he could dream up, and that she will be a clone of Thad Cochran. So we can expect her to vote the same way – big spending and bigger government. After all, she is a Democrat.
Those who believe Cindy Hyde-Smith will bring any semblance of change to Washington needs to think again. If she prevails in November, she will become, just as Bryant desired, another Thad Cochran for the next twenty years.