McDaniel Blows it in Mississippi by Ignoring Blacks|
June 30, 2014
Incumbent Republican Senator Thad Cochran’s successful game plan, which drove
his run-off victory over Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel for Mississippi’s
Republican Senate nomination, was unconventional.
But most incredible was the success of this game plan – to reach out to liberal
black churches and get Democrat black voters to turn out and vote for Cochran –
despite being executed in broad daylight.
Soon after Cochran lost to McDaniel in the primary, necessitating a run-off
because McDaniel fell short of getting 50 percent of the vote, papers reported
the intent of Cochran’s team to turn out black Democrats to overcome the thin
margin by which Cochran lost.
McDaniel knew exactly what to expect. The Cochran campaign told him. Yet he
remained a spectator through it all. His counter strategy was no counter
strategy and just continue what he was already doing. Appealing just to
Mississippi’s conservative white electorate.
Sitting in the White House today is the most left-wing president in the nation’s
history, elected twice without winning the white vote. I have written about the
demographic changes taking place in the country and the need for Republicans to
talk about limited government and traditional values to non-white Americans.
If this is true about the nation as a whole, it certainly is true in a state
like Mississippi whose black population, at 40 percent of the state, is the
largest in the nation. Half this black population is poor.
Cochran’s forces dumped money into liberal black churches, communicating that he
is their champion because of the government pork he’ll continue to bring into
But a news flash for McDaniel, which he should know, having served as a state
senator, is that not all blacks are liberals. In Mississippi’s huge black
population are many conservative black pastors who want freedom for their
flocks. They know that black poverty is not about government money.
A few of these conservative black pastors in Mississippi are part of the
national pastor network of my organization, CURE.
Former NFL star Brett Favre made an ad for Cochran in which he talked about
Cochran getting “…critical funding for our schools.”
But in the latest Quality Counts report from the publication Education Week,
Mississippi is rated 51st in the nation, among 50 states and
Washington, DC, in K-12 student achievement.
The report continues, as reported in Mississippi Business Journal, that
“Mississippi ranked among the lowest 10 states in providing young people a
chance for success in life, financing schools and improving teaching.”
If the success of Mississippi’s schools was about “critical” funding from the
federal government, why are they the worst in the nation?
The main victims of Mississippi’s dismal schools are black children.
In a Pew Research survey of last October, 25 percent of blacks expressed
favorability toward the Tea Party, just 6 points less than whites.
But the McDaniel campaign seemed clueless that there were potential allies in
Mississippi’s huge black population to counter Cochran’s liberal assault.
It is pathetic that some commentators are actually writing that Cochran’s
government plantation appeal to blacks shows how Republicans can reach this
In a scene early in the Oscar-winning film Patton, General Patton, who was sent
to take command of the demoralized American troops in North Africa in the early
days of World War II, is shown looking through field glasses, watching a tank
battle which would become America’s first victory in North Africa. He studied
the tactics of his adversary German commander Field Marshall Erwin Rommel. As he
watched, Patton bellowed out “ Rommel, you magnificent b------, I read your
Thad Cochran laid it out for McDaniel – he gave him his book - but McDaniel
chose not to read it.
There are plenty of black conservatives who understand that big government
politicians – Democrats or Republicans – hurt their communities. They just need
Republican candidates to recognize they exist.
Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal
and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based
public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle
Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do