Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kingmaker? Oh really?

Sid Salter took a break from taxing the internet and firing ammo for Thad to instead laud Bennie Thompson as the new Kingmaker a la Eastland a few weeks ago:


Today, any Democrat who wants to run credible statewide race not only wants his support, they need it. And during President Barack Obama's two terms in the White House, the federal patronage path in Mississippi increasingly ran through his office.

Second District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Bolton, the senior Democratic official in the state's congressional delegation - and in recent years, the only one - has emerged as a political kingmaker the likes of which hasn't been seen since the days of the late "Big Jim" Eastland.

Back in 2008, political science scholar Marty Wiseman and I were on a panel together in Jackson and the question of Thompson's growing influence came up. Wiseman said then: "I hesitate to call him the 'Jim Eastland of the New Millennium,' but he is definitely a presence in the Delta when it comes to electoral politics. It says a lot about Thompson's emergence as a power-broker and a leader in the Democratic Party."

Six years later, Thompson's endorsement is sought by Democrats not merely in federal elections or statewide elections, but in local races as well. Irascible Clarion-Ledger political cartoonist hit the nail on the head in recent weeks when he asked the rhetorical question of who the next mayor of Jackson would be following the death of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and answered it: "Whoever Bennie says."....

With $1.346 million in his campaign coffers, Thompson is going to win re-election handily. A key test of Thompson's political reach will come in the special election in Jackson to choose a successor to Lumumba. Thompson is supporting Jackson City Councilman Melvin Priester Jr., the son of one of the congressman's closest political allies. Rest of column.

Good thing we actually had an election instead of letting the "experts" decide our Mayor and Supervisors for us. Best thing that happened to Tony Yarber might be the fact that Bennie and his cronies dumped him as city council president last year. Instead of trying to be a Kingmaker, Bennie might want to worry about a Yarber-McQuirter power bloc.

Oh, here is one picture from Wednesday.  JJ has confirmed Safiya Omari, Harold Lathon, and Willie Bell are gone. 

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

By my count, Bennie has lost three elections in a row. A year ago I would have agreed with Salter's piece. Not anymore.

Anonymous said...

Salter is becoming more of a left winger. He must have drank the Kool Aid.

Anonymous said...

Typical no-nothing at the C-L. His day has come and passed.

Anonymous said...

McQuirter and Yarber are both men of energy and integrity. I hope they can help bring sanity back into the Capital City.

Anonymous said...

"Typical no-nothing at the C-L. His day has come and passed."

Do you say 'no-nothing', referring to "the state of having nothing at all"? (I quote from urbandictionary.com)

Or do you mean "know-nothing", referring to someone who knows nothing? Or, perhaps you're accusing someone of being a member of the noble-but-defunct Know-Nothing political party?

Do you know the difference between 'no' and 'know'?

Signed, Perplexed in Puckett



Anonymous said...

Who is running against Benny? When is the deadline to register to run for his Congressional seat? I may be interested in filing.

Anonymous said...

When I read Sid's column I thought it was spot on, and I bet most political observers did too. I'm glad he was wrong, however.

Anonymous said...

Good by willie boy! Good luck finding your old job, elevator operator.

Pugnacious said...

Who is running against Benny? When is the deadline to register to run for his Congressional seat? I may be interested in filing.~

Is that you, Shawn O'Hara?

You could win on the anti-abortion vote--Bennie being pro-abortion-- distributing "Having An Abortion Is Like Giving God the Finger T-shirts for free!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Sid work for Mississippi State now? Are we to assume the university agrees with his editorials? And one last question because I truly don't know the answer...are there are rules governing what state employees (I refer to the state of MS, of which Sid is now one) are allowed to say in public forums such as a newspaper. I'm assuming pretty much everything is OK, except for endorsing specific candidates?

Orley He Ain't said...

Oh, Sid 'knows' plenty. He just has an odd manner of assimilating it, running it through his brain and then regurgitating it.

He wants desperately to be a cross between Bill Minor and Marty Wiseman but fancies himself a modern day Chaucer with a mix of Faulkner. In a word, elocutionist sums up Salter. He fancies hearing himself speak and foams at his own written bloviation.

He often did decent work at the Clarion, then bombed horrifically on the radio and has slid in hard in an attempt to claim relevance in his occupational swan song.

I believe his final true calling is wearing a Greek toga, sitting beside the Meridith statue at OM, guarding it against all the racists who are running rampant everywhere. That way, he'd please Minor, Mitchell, Wiseman and Dilday in one fell swoop.

In his *spare* time he might seriously rethink his claim that any politician wants or needs the support of Bennie Thompson.

Anonymous said...

6:34, being a state employee does not remove from Salter his first ammendment protection.

He is certainly free to express his personal opinions in public forums but would be constrained against encouraging subordinate state employees to vote for or support particular candidates or parties (Hatch Act). Although he often comes down a bit on the left side of dunce, I don't see him doing that.

Anonymous said...

Given Sid's history, that any of you think he's to the left of anything means you are so far right as to be totally nuts.

Anonymous said...

Ouch, @8:57! You're 100% correct, of course, but ouch.

Anonymous said...

8:57 wins most-correct and to-the-point post today.

And Benny T is no more powerful or important than any other politician.

Anonymous said...

"Do you know the difference between 'no' and 'know'?

Signed, Perplexed in Puckett"

Know, I don't. Sorry :-)

Anonymous said...

"6:34, being a state employee does not remove from Salter his first ammendment protection. "

When Dan Jones was Vice-Chancellor at UMMC he forbade any employee, meaning faculty members, from speaking to the press unless arranged by the PR department. He said he had to deal with the legislature, and it would make his job looking out for UMMC much harded if legislators heard conflicting opinions.

At that same time there was an extreme left-wing nutjob at Ole Miss professing journalism and printing ludicrous barnyard excreta in the Clarion-Ledger every Sunday. I always wondered if Jones would have the nerve to put a stop to that once he became Chancellor up in Oxford. If I still read the C-L I might know the answer to that question.

And the first Amendment only stops government censorship. It does not guarantee you can piss off your employer and keep your job, if you are disrupting things for said employer.

Anonymous said...

There is, in fact, a federal patronage machine that runs on strictly partisan lines. And since Bennie has the distinction of being Mississippi's only Democrat in Washington, that means by default when there's a Democrat President Bennie gets to pick our U.S. Attorneys and a few other lesser bureaucrats. (Back in the day, U.S. Postmaster was a cherished federal sinecure).

That's a far cry from being a kingmaker, though. If Salter actually followed the news he'd know that over the last five years or so whites have been elected mayor in Greenville, Clarksdale, Greenwood and Indianola - all in Bennie's backyard and all over his vigorous opposition. Bennie's debacle in Jackson is just the latest in an string of defeats. Not sure how Salter can be so oblivious to such an obvious point.

Orley He Ain't (again) said...

"Given Sid's history"? Really, 9:19 a.m. Salter has bounced around the walls of the political and socio-political spectrum for decades.

He never really found his niche. That happens when one has no guiding light, no true moral compass and no internal GPS other than seeing himself in print. His opinion changes with the wind because he's never sure which audience he's pandering to. People of his ilk will do whatever it takes to get that engraved, annual, plastic award for the bookshelf.

All he wants is to be in the limelight and feast on whatever hits the windshield. Well, that's also true of a buzzard.

pugnacious said...

A lot like former 1950s paleo-conservative "Ben."

Anonymous said...

Is Salter a paid Thad staffer, or just hoping to keep the unsustainable federal gravy train coming?

Remember, for every MS acoustics lab or federal courthouse with Thad's name on it, there a bridge to nowhere in another state.

These things don't happen in a vacuum.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Sid's column and enjoyed listening to his radio show. It was certainly better than what followed it.

That said, I am heartened to see Ol' Sid being proven wrong on this. I believe the tide is turning on Senator Thompson.

Anonymous said...

Really, 8:07 pm I think you must confuse a moral compass with self-righteousness.

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