McDaniel Should Responsibly Close Door on MS Senate Runoff Loss
In the span of just hours, the national tea party community went from rubbing their collective hands in anticipatory glee about the certain defeat of incumbent Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, to wringing their hands in unbridled frustration that GOP challenger Chris McDaniel lost the run-off.
But McDaniel didn’t just lose the election by getting outmaneuvered and out-hustled by a more skillful, savvy team. In the aftermath of defeat, he has regretfully allowed an unmistakable tinge of racial resentment to remain in the air.
<a href="http://dcspectator.strategicmedia viagra pour homme en pharmacie.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/mcdan.jpg” data-rel=”lightbox-0″ title=””>Fueled by recriminations from his supporters about African-Americans being mobilized as part of Cochran’s winning coalition, and exacerbated by irresponsible language from third parties about ‘black Uncle Tom voters’, a pall lingers over the post-election wreckage of McDaniel’s candidacy.
As Mr. McDaniel ponders his next public move following the rancorous primary night speech, he should have the common sense to utilize part of his eventual concession remarks to recalibrate the language previously employed to characterize why he was defeated, and by whom.
Simply, he must take responsibility for the loss.
The election law stipulating eligible voters was clear, and the McDaniel campaign message remained static and narrow-cast while Cochran’s message expanded to appeal to multiple available constituencies — including African-Americans.
Just as Mr. McDaniel lost control of his message in the days leading up to Election Day, he is losing control of his message in the post-election aftermath.
It is his responsibility as a candidate, even in defeat, to help ensure the public at large is not left with unintended perceptions — perceptions that not only damage his personal brand, but that of the tea party in general and the broader Republican Party in particular.
In effect, his failure thus far to help clear the air only aids and abets the “liberal Democrats” he claims to despise the most.
Substantively, Mr. McDaniel’s election night complaint — “This is not the party of Ronald Reagan” — ignores the fact Reagan’s GOP allies like Jack Kemp, Newt Gingrich and the Conservative Opportunity Society (COS) House Republicans of the mid-80s were instrumental in developing policy initiatives to help expand economic and educational opportunity to those in need.
Regardless of one’s viewpoint on these initiatives — inner-city enterprise zones and more educational choice by way of vouchers — these policies were part of the broader GOP policy framework.
The idea was simple: Try to win over new GOP voters over the long term with innovative policies. McDaniel’s strategy and viewpoint was to simply write-off an entire bloc of voters as permanently unattainable.
Thus, Mr. McDaniel’s invocation of Ronald Reagan — which received the lion’s share of news attention on election night — is antithetical to the inclusive Reagan message and ethos, and cries out for clarification once Mr. McDaniel takes to a podium to outline his post-election intentions.
In Mr. McDaniel’s defense, the venting, expression of frustration and weeks of required de-pressurization that come with giving all you have for months, and even years, comes with the territory.
He gamely put himself on the line, and has a right to express his unhappiness. But it’s how you do it, and how you convey it after the ballots are counted that makes the difference, and becomes the record.
The record, for now, paints an unflattering picture of his candidacy, and Chris McDaniel has one last opportunity to receive significant news attention.
Hopefully, he and his advisers recognize they should use a thoughtful, forward-looking concession speech to, among other matters, throw cold water on the still smoldering embers of the post-election aftermath.