The latest production from the NRSC.
Archive for October 2009
In the opinion of newspaper writers Tim Kalich and Sid Salter and an editorial at the Madison County Journal, Morgan Freeman’s recent comments didn’t do much to help Bill Luckett. Luckett’s campaign continues to suffer from missteps. During the 2008 general election, Democrats argued that Barack Obama’s excellently conducted primary campaign against Hillary Clinton was demonstrative of his ability to be a good leader as President. That same logic suggests Luckett might not provide the leadership Mississippi needs in our future.
Tim Kalich writes in the Greenwood Commonwealth:
Politically, it’s just not very smart for anyone seeking office in Mississippi to alienate the farm community. Even Bennie Thompson, the most liberal Democratic member in Mississippi’s congressional delegation, has been sensitive to appeasing Delta farmers by defending their interests on Capitol Hill.
Besides, Freeman’s apparent perception of farmers and their attitudes is grossly outdated. Back in the 1950s, when there were six times as many farms and much of the labor was still done by hand, it was true that farmers resisted efforts to diversify the economy. They didn’t want the factories, looking to relocate from the North, to compete for their workers and drive up wages. The farmers preferred a work force that was cheap, uneducated, dependent and plentiful.
Mechanization and other technological improvements, though, have dramatically changed the entire agricultural landscape. The demand for farm labor today is a fraction of what it was, and the type of labor farming requires is different, too. Instead of strong backs, farmers need workers who can ably operate $150,000 tractors and $300,000 combines and cotton pickers.
Farmers today are more likely to view themselves as partners than competitors to industry. Both need a dependable, trainable and increasingly technologically literate work force. Both see troubling trends. Domestic manufacturers fret over how they can compete with foreign factories that pay dirt-cheap wages and operate free of government regulation. Farmers, with an average age of 57 and climbing, worry about whether there will be a next generation of growers.
If Freeman hasn’t recognized the changes on the farm, he’s not been doing his research.
The actor’s ill choice of words is not the first slip-up for the Luckett camp. Earlier this year, the Clarksdale attorney was quoted, again by the AP, as equating racism in the Delta with Republican affiliation.
It’s hard to win an election when you give the opposition that kind of “bulletin board” material.
Sid Salter writes for the Clarion Ledger:
The flap over Freeman’s comments aren’t Luckett’s first early stumble. Back in June, Luckett was quoted in another AP story as saying: “You can’t have grown up in the Mississippi Delta with any kind of sensitivity or any kind of feelings and not come out of that aligned with the Democratic Party, unless you’re just a racist or something,” Luckett said. Luckett later disputed the comment, but AP stood by the story.
But Luckett’s campaign has had two damaging stumbles that will haunt him when the campaign begins in earnest – and Freeman’s assessment of Mississippi’s “base stock” won’t help much back home.
And the Madison County Journal editorializes:
Freeman told the Associated Press: “Reform in Mississippi is hard because the base stock of this state is a mule-headed bunch of farmers. Those farmers have ruled the roost for so long because this is an agricultural state.”
We would first point out that he is campaigning for a wealthy Delta landowner who is a Democrat and specializes in, among other things, agricultural law. Excepting two men in this century, all of Mississippi’s governors and those ‘ruling the roost’ have been Democrats.
It is hard to run on reform when your candidate is of the same ilk you’re criticizing.
Second, we note the farmers we know tend to have their heads on straighter than most politicians or Hollywood types. Nearly a third of all Mississippians are employed by agriculture, which is a $6.3 billion industry in our state.
In terms Freeman can understand, “That ain’t chickenfeed.”
We thoroughly enjoy Freeman’s movies and remain proud to claim him as a Mississippian, but he should leave politics to the professionals.
Our favorite Democratic candidate for governor is back, this time he doesn’t have his foot in his mouth, he has his business partner and chief fundraiser’s foot in his mouth.
Bill Luckett’s business partner, movie star Morgan Freeman, told the Associated Press he is supporting Luckett because: “Reform in Mississippi is hard because the base stock of this state is a mule-headed bunch of farmers. Those farmers have ruled the roost for so long because this is an agricultural state.”
Freeman sent a fundraising letter which said, “Holding on to the old politics of race, class and region has starved Mississippi for too long.” Freeman is a host of cocktail party fundraiser in Los Angeles, California next week for Luckett who wants to use that Hollywood money to buy Mississippi’s Governor’s mansion.
This is going to be fun.
A recent strategy memo from Rob Jesmer, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, brings some more national new good news to Republicans for the 2010 Senate elections. Jesmer worked some campaigns in Mississippi several years ago and is no stranger to our state, and while as we have posted before we usually focus on Mississippi items, here is some good news for those on the Right of Mississippi.
In response to [Congressman and former Governor Mike] Castle’s announcement [to run for the Senate yesterday in Deleware], the highly-respected political pundit Stuart Rothenberg immediately shifted the Delaware Senate race from “currently safe” for Democrats to “lean takeover” for the GOP. A Rasmussen survey released just last week showed Castle leading his potential Democrat opponent, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden [son of VP Joe Biden], 47 to 42 percent.
Meanwhile in Illinois, GOP Congressman Mark Kirk, known for his ability to repeatedly win re-election in his Democrat-leaning district, announced Monday that he has raised more than $1.6 million during the third quarter [for his Illionois Senate bid]. Kirk’s likely Democrat opponents in this race include Tony Rezko’s former banker who has suspected ties to the mob, and a former Chief of Staff to disgraced former Governor Rod Blagojevich.
These two races are shaping up well for Republicans to capture two seats in traditionally blue states – the two seats formerly held by President Obama and Vice President Biden. It also means that the Democrats will be forced to play defense in two states they’ve previously counted as safe. Senator Bob Menendez, Chairman of the Democrat Senate political campaign committee, has already stated that Democrats will be spending “significant” resources to ensure these seats remain blue. Every Democrat dollar spent in Illinois and Delaware is a dollar that can’t be spent defending seats elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Democrat incumbents across the country are facing tough fights to hold onto their seats. Polls continue to show Harry Reid in serious political peril in his home state of Nevada…Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas is trailing all four of her GOP challengers in recent polling, and Michael Bennet in Colorado faces an uphill primary challenge.