Governor Phil Bryant has named Cindy Hyde-Smith, the state’s agriculture and commerce commissioner, to fill Thad Cochran’s US Senate seat until the November special election.
This seems a strange pick, to tap someone with her background to a seat in the US Senate. Aside from her two terms as Ag Commissioner, she served three terms in the state senate, chairing the agricultural committee. Her credentials are certainly well above board in regards to agricultural issues but that’s a very small fraction of what US Senators actually do.
What does she know about foreign policy, military affairs, international trade, banking and finance, the federal budget and tax system, and the complex constitutional issues that always arise, especially when dealing with Supreme Court nominations. A quick primer over the next few months won’t help much, considering that these are issues, particularly those dealing with the federal courts, with which Senator Chris McDaniel, a constitutional attorney, is well versed. But Phil Bryant had to please his benefactors, not the people of the state of Mississippi.
Bryant once thought highly of McDaniel, saying of him in 2009: “One day, I will be rocking on the porch, saying, ‘I was there when Chris McDaniel came to the Senate … I knew that young man was going to make a difference. He’s what we need in a Mississippi Governor or U.S. Senator.’”
Now Bryant has changed his tune, lashing out after McDaniel jumped from the Wicker primary to the special election: “This opportunistic behavior is a sad commentary for a young man who once had great potential.”
But who is really “opportunistic”? It’s not Chris McDaniel; it’s Phil Bryant, who is suffering from the same case of “Psychological Projection” that plagues Roger Wicker.
In this instance, Bryant is a multi-layered opportunist: He’s certainly trying to feather his own nest when he leaves office by kowtowing to the wants of the Establishment. They didn’t want McDaniel but one of their own. And he obliged them with a former Democrat with a history of taxing and spending. He’s also making sure he secures his legacy as governor by appointing the first woman to the Mississippi congressional delegation. That will improve his resume.
But Bryant also reveals a high-level of hypocrisy, as well as opportunism, by appointing Hyde-Smith, who is quite possibly the most opportunistic politician in the state of Mississippi at the moment. Since her first election to the state senate in 1999, Cindy Hyde-Smith was a Democrat. She voted in Democratic primaries her entire life, that is until 2011, when she switched parties in order to run a state-wide race for Ag Commissioner. Party switching for electoral gain is the height of political opportunism. It’s done for that reason alone, not out of principle.
So Governor Phil Bryant, who called out Chris McDaniel as an opportunist, has appointed a real opportunist to the US Senate in order to help his own opportunistic endeavors in 2020 when he leaves office.
And he has the gall to criticize Senator McDaniel! #RememberMississippi