A reporter at the Daily Caller recently opined as to which Senator might replace Mitch McConnell as Senate majority leader in the event, albeit unlikely, that he retires or is overthrown. The second name on the list caught my eye: Thad Cochran.
From Thomas Phippen:
As the second most senior Republican in the Senate, Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi holds a commanding position in the body. He chairs the largest Senate committee, the Committee on Appropriations, overseeing 12 subcommittees.
The Senate leadership position isn’t just about being popular. It’s about wrangling votes, building coalitions, and understanding unique Senate rules to accomplish one’s objectives. A deep understanding of how committees work goes a long way.
But does Mr. Phippen know anything about Thad Cochran? Did he follow the 2014 primary in Mississippi and the interesting episodes involving ole Thad?
The job of majority leader is a complex one, requiring a person of sound mind and judgment, not one who is 75 years old with questionable lucidity. Recall that this is a man who once got lost in the US Capitol building, who forgot an interview he did with a reporter just 30 minutes earlier, and told an audience that when he was a kid he “did all kinds of indecent things with animals.”
Not to mention the fact that he married his trusty aide for “special services” only a few months after his wife died, and that after months of his campaign staff assuring the voters of Mississippi that there was nothing going on between them.
I recently had a conversation with a man who is very much in the know in Mississippi politics and he attended an event earlier this summer that included Thad Cochran. Although the aging Senator did not speak (surprise, surprise) and only sat on the stage, he told me that Cochran “looked bad and I’m not sure he knew where he was and what was going on.” He then added, “I felt sorry for him.”
As do I. Cochran wanted to retire when his term ended in 2015 but was persuaded to run for another term by Haley Barbour and Crew. He should have been allowed to go home, rather than be exploited by the moneychangers of Mississippi politics. And he needs to go home now, not serve as majority leader.