The political buzz around Mississippi today has been the possible retirement of Thad Cochran, which might be coming within weeks or months. The long-serving Senator is nearing age 80 and, according to press reports and his Senate office, has been battling health issues for weeks. He’s back in Washington now, at the behest of Mitch McConnell, but with the assistance of a wheelchair.
But there are serious questions about his age and health. Consider this report this afternoon from Politico:
The 79-year-old Cochran appeared frail and at times disoriented during a brief hallway interview on Wednesday. He was unable to answer whether he would remain chairman of the Appropriations Committee, and at one point, needed a staffer to remind him where the Senate chamber is located.
On one amendment, Cochran voted “yes” despite being told by an aide to vote “no.” The staffer tried to get the senator to switch his vote, but Cochran kept flashing the “thumbs up” sign, even walking over to the clerk tallying the vote and doing so. GOP floor staffers repeatedly told him the leadership wanted a “no” vote. Several more moments passed before Cochran realized he was voting the wrong way and then changed his vote.
So, with this in mind, and what we know so far, here’s the real question:
With Thad’s advanced age and health issues, is he really able to provide the best representation to the State of Mississippi?
To those who are accusing us of spreading “fake news” or even wishing bad things on Senator Cochran, nothing could be further from the truth. This is not an attack on Senator Cochran but a serious question that the public has a right to weigh in on.
We did not start this. Speculation began to mount after a Bobby Harrison article in the Daily Journal a few days ago. And we know there is currently talk going on between Cochran’s office and that of Governor Phil Bryant on the possibility of a vacancy.
But the bottom line is that Thad Cochran has served long enough in Washington, first coming to Congress in January 1973. Let him retire and go home with some semblance of dignity.
It’s time for a new US Senator, one who is younger, more energetic, and one who is better able to handle the day-to-day rigors of high political office. And, most importantly, we need a Senator who best represents the conservative values and principles of the people of Mississippi.