I'd be remiss if I didn't chastise the 1st District GOP for letting that one get away. Light turnout in Lee County? Winning by 70 votes in Grenada? Losing Lowndes? What the hell are you people doing up there? Now you've got six months of a guy with a Snidley Whiplash mustache and Joey Langston's money in his pocket strolling around DC? And you ran such a crappy campaign. The name of the game is contrast, always has been. Did the Governor and Lt. Governor contrast themselves from their opponents last year? Yeah, big time, and that's why they won by the big double digits. Instead of touting solutions to problems, we got bogged down in who likes Barry and Nancy and Kerry the least. You might get away with that in a good year, but the brand is damaged nationally. Differentiate or watch Childers become an institution, and Monty Rushgrove end up as your Senator.
By not differentiating, you let regionalism creep into the race. It's no wonder that we lost that one. Did you not pay attention to Mike Parker's race in '99? You ignore Itawamba, Lee, Tishomingo, Alcorn, et al at your own electoral risk.
Now on to the fun stuff: Congrats, Congressman. Now, are you going to vote Obama or Clinton at the convention? You are now, after all, a super delegate. Here is your chance to prove that you are really the conservative Democrat you claim to be, and represent us bitter, clingy people like you know we want to be represented. And remember, David Axelrod, the brains behind Camp Barry, has already said that working white folks, who make up a majority of the district, aren't worth courting. Make sure you vote no on the Democrat platform, since you disagree with everything in it except Iraq. Should make for a fun summer, huh?
And for an update on the handbills circulated strategically around the district: Only Salter and Bardwell have had the guts to say diddly squat, and I give Bardwell credit for calling BS on it. Hampton seems to have missed it entirely (but then again, what doesn't he miss?) and Bobby Harrison must be out buying his famous misquoting pencils. I see nothing from the 9 to 5 blog either. William Forrest Winter has remained silent on it; as our state's self-appointed resident authority on racial reconciliation, I expected better of him.
But on that note, Davis won DeSoto, his home county, and neighboring Memphis metro county Tate; he also carried Webster, 78% white; he barely carried Grenada, 54% white. The closer to Booneville, the worse his vote total gets (which was not unexpected, except in Lee County); and in the counties with heavier black populations, he lost it. Look at Panola-virtually 50/50 racial, Childers 58; Yalobusha 40% black, Childers 59%; Clay 57% black, Childers 73%; Marshall, 50/50, Childers 68%; Lowndes, 43% black, Childers 54%. Lafayette is a statistical oddity, so throw it out-a good number of its residents are transplants, whether students or faculty at Ole Miss, and Obama's endorsement doesn't hurt him near as much as it might elsewhere.
Anyone who says the handbill didn't affect this needs to look at the breakdown here. Of course, how many really want to?
I give Childers credit; he made his appeals, ran right fast as he could, and Davis ran crappy in the eastern half of the district, which is no one's fault but his own. Get your damned act together, Mayor, and start doing something innovative, otherwise, you're gonna get your butt handed to you again in the fall. There may be nothing you can do in such a bad year for Republicans, but damn you sir, you must try.