Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Sid Salter: Same Issues, Different Framing in Reeves-Hood Showdown

Mississippi’s 2019 gubernatorial ballot is now solidified and while the issues remain basically unchanged since the primaries, the framing for the Nov. 5 will be different.

That election will pit Republican nominee Tate Reeves of Rankin County against Democratic nominee Jim Hood of Chickasaw County. They will face the Constitution Party’s Bob Hickingbottom and independent David Singletary, but those candidates have not by any realistic measure mounted credible campaigns.

Reeves, the incumbent Republican lieutenant governor, and Hood, the incumbent Democratic attorney general, have each been elected in the past four consecutive elections with substantial majorities of the vote. Reeves as a Republican and Hood as a Democrat each won solid majorities in four consecutive elections in 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015 that had both in contested races for different offices on the same ballot.

To put a finer point on it, the same votes who chose twice chose Republicans Haley Barbour and Phil Bryant as governor also chose Democrat Hood as their attorney general.

And Hood is campaigning on some of the same themes that made former Chief Justice Bill Waller a thorn in the side of Reeves in the GOP primaries – Medicaid expansion as a means to save Mississippi’s rural hospitals, a pay-as-you-go program of infrastructure improvements (although Reeves has accused Hood of a “flip-flop” on raising the state’s gas tax,), and more money for public education at multiple levels.

To be sure, Hood is the best hope that state Democrats have had in a gubernatorial campaign since Ronnie Musgrove in 1999. Like Waller, Hood’s campaign style has a more populist appeal and unlike Waller, he is not afraid to give as good as he gets in the heat of political battle. Hood is a prosecutor well skilled in making his case and driving home his points with little concern for stepping on toes or hurt feelings.

But Hood also faces the same partisan challenges that have plagued most Democratic gubernatorial contenders in Mississippi in the modern era - the “D” behind their names in one of the reddest of the red states. Like so many Democrats before him at the top of the tickets, Hood will likely struggle with the identifying with the national Democratic Party platform and the partisan warfare between congressional Democrats and the Trump White House.

Mississippi voters witnessed the impact of President Trump’s forays into the state in the 2018 U.S. Senate race as he campaigned on behalf of U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. Clearly, it’s not a far leap to see Trump making appearances on behalf of Reeves this fall.

Beyond Trump’s appeal in Mississippi, the struggle inside the Democratic Party between more traditional Democrats like Joe Biden and the move of some “progressive” Democrats to “Democratic socialism” under the leadership of Bernie Sanders and others create an enormous obstacle for Democrats like Hood.

While Hood has long identified as “pro-life” the realities are that his party at the national level identifies solidly as “pro-choice.” For Southern Democrats, the abortion question remains the most difficult of political tightropes to walk.

If you were a fan of what the Reeves campaign did to successfully frame Waller as “too liberal” in the GOP second primary, expect the Reeves forces to double-down on those same themes in the general election against Hood. Expect to witness a truly national party take on a state election.

As for Hood, look for a campaign based in great measure on comparing the lives and futures of working people versus the so-called “elites” in terms of economic opportunity, access to education and health care, and infrastructure and rural digital access. Expect a bruising, full-contact general election.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

A few of the Republican "Elites" are already showing their colors and their colors are pure RHINO. Never thought I would say that about some of these past leaders. The Democrats have to accept the reality of the burden the leaders of their party are to them. To get the National money to back them, they have to concede the beliefs of Mississippians. No true Mississippian could ever embrace the socialistic bend of the Democrats; nor could they embrace the demolition of the Second Amendment and our entire beloved Constitution. Make no mistake, while Hood is a good ol' boy from Chickasaw County, he is a Democrat and they are so far off what Mississippi stands for they cannot win. This election is not about race (although many will try to make it so), it is about freedom and our future as a country.

Anonymous said...

"Hood is a prosecutor well skilled in making his case and driving home his points with little concern for stepping on toes or hurt feelings."

Obviously Mr. Salter has never seen Jimbo in a courtroom. Mr. Hood is an idiot savant with respect to politics. He studied under Mike Moore and is wonderful at what he does. He would not make a pimple on the bottom of a real lawyer. I support Mr. Reeves but I might could live with a governor as dumb and fat as poor pitiful Jim Hood. Now if we could only get one as smart and fat as Mr. Barbour . . . . Haley is the very scum of the earth but boy was he a good governor. That looking and sounding really dumb but being really smart will carry the day every time. God bless Haley Barbour!

Anonymous said...

Hood is an old school throw back to a different era of populist MS Democrats. The next most recent successful comparison is Gene Taylor. Taylor did a great job of saying “I know you don’t like the National Democratic Party, and I don’t either, here’s how I’m different.” Hood will have to do the same. Other candidates that really aren’t bad guys, like David Baria, did not do that aggressively enough. I bet Hood will. I’m moderate but rapidly becoming more conservative, vote Republican 90% of the time, but I’ll vote for Hood. Enough is enough with Tate.

Anonymous said...

What is so sinful about a "flip-flop" on any policy? I would rather someone change their mind on an issue than be stubborn and never be willing to make a change ... especially if they were wrong in the beginning or the facts have changed!

Anonymous said...

Several times during my lifetime I have heard people say “this is the most important election in history”. While this governor’s race is not that, it is certainly the prelude to it. It is probably a toss up as to Barrack Obama’s greatest achievement: weakening the defense of America or establishing a void of hatred. Thankfully, with little assistance, Donald Trump is rectifying the former. With the liberal media fanning the hatred fire, the later is an increasing problem.
If the traditional liberal destructors( Hillary, Pelosi, Schumer, Maxine, Nadler, & Schiff) are not doing enough damage to America, how about the new girls in town, “The Squad”(AOC, Omar, Presley &Tlaib). And don”t forget Bernie & Pocahontas who want to give everything away free! Now seriously folks, do u think Mississippians identify with these people?
Well one may say; I vote for the person, these r just labels. People, one has to play the cards they are dealt. One may not like it, but that is the way it is, reality. The present political system is 2 parties, like a fence. Which side of the fence are u on? It is one or the other. There is no middle ground. Jim Hood will be on the side of all these liberals, socialists. Will u?
Some say this was a dirty campaign. I’ve been around politics all my 70 years. This campaign by historical standards was not dirty. I do realize it is “dirty” to call one a democrat, but i believe Mr. Waller & all his family have been elected as democrats.
How about being a general in the national guard? When I think of Mr. Waller being a general, I think of John Hampton Stennis, Edwin Lloyd Pittman. I have ALWAYS been told that when one passes the rank of Captain, the politics seriously kick in. Here again. That’s the system.
Now folks, if you want to be part of the destruction of America then vote for the democrat Mr. Hood. If you want to try to salvage America then vote for Republican Tate Reeves. That is presently your choice. You may not have a choice much longer!

Anonymous said...

I bet Hood will. I’m moderate but rapidly becoming more conservative, vote Republican 90% of the time ...

Another meaningless appeal to an authority that does not exist.

Anonymous said...

9:35, the pro-abortion folks could learn a lot from your post. When Roe was decided, the technology wasn't advanced enough to prove what most of us believed all along - that an unborn child is a real life and it is murdered when an abortion is performed. But the so-called "pro-science" liberals turn a blind eye, and bitterly cling to their belief that an unborn child is merely a clump of cells.

Liberals - you can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

"I bet Hood will. I’m moderate but rapidly becoming more conservative, vote Republican 90% of the time ...

Another meaningless appeal to an authority that does not exist. "

The original poster mentions Jim Hood and the Republicans. Period.

Which one of those two is the "authority" that "Does not exist"?

Anonymous said...

It's hard to not "flip-flop" when you take actual stances on issues. Ole Tater Tot can't even decide what he wants for dinner (which is why he can be found at any of our finer buffets on any given evening).

Anonymous said...

11:17...hmmm, I guess if you see him there, you're there too??

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Anonymous said...

"Hood is a prosecutor well skilled in making his case and driving home his points with little concern for stepping on toes or hurt feelings."

Pardon my rabbit trail, but I'm suddenly reminded of Lynn Fitch.

Anonymous said...

We need someone like John Bell over in Louisiana, he is doing a great job cleaning up the mess Jindal left. It looks like the folks over there get it too, he will probably win a second term without a runoff.

Anonymous said...

Judge Waller missed his opportunity when he didn’t highlight the 8 years of getting nothing significantly accomplished in the Bryant-Reeves terms. Bryant who most intelligent moderate people agree is a pompous redneck and is a prime example of leadership that keeps Mississippi last. His endorsement of Tate very well could send the moderates over to Hood.

Anonymous said...

@9:55 I am 24 years old and could not agree more. these people are ruining our country and any chance my generation has to succeed. I wish others realized that, and anyone who has the judgement to identify with the Dem party of today's world is not worthy of my vote. I am no Reeves fan, but he will get my vote.

Anonymous said...

8:37 AM, "A few of the Republican "Elites" are already showing their colors and their colors are pure RHINO."

Are you speaking of a large mammal, rhinoceros? Or if in reference to a Republican in name only (RINO), that would be yourself. Those "Elites" are the true Republicans!

Anonymous said...

I ask again.

How does Sid compare to the Southeastern average of anything?

Anonymous said...

10:30 am Technology was never needed to know a fertilized egg is alive.
I can only assume that you are referring to ultra sound and the subsequent improvements which shows fetal development on the exterior of the fetus.
You do know that science has also advanced in proving the longest possible time a fetus needs to survive inside the uterus to avoid severe developmental problems and being "tortured" medically in the unrealistic hope of survival.

Also, some of us " RINOS" ( which I see as fiscally conservative and socially accepting of the fact that not everyone has to be just alike to have value) or " elites" ( which I see as formally or self-educated and financially successful humans) believe that freedom of conscience and being able to be responsible for our own souls before the One God is the essence of freedom.

RINOS and elites seem also to also be able recognize expertise and accept we don't know everything so are open minded. We check our sources for reliability as well. We aren't lemmings.

Anonymous said...

3:56 - Were you just messing around or did you intend to make sense?

Anonymous said...

7:57 pm Which sentences didn't you understand? Let me help. I'll start with the easiest...

RINOS don't like to waste money.
They know every group of people has assholes.
They know knowledge is power no matter how a person gets knowledge.
Elites have obtained financial security and knowledge.

Please have a farmer explain laying hens from breeding hens. Some RINOS figured out eggs and sperm on their own just visiting a chicken farm on a pre-school trip. Some RINOS could read at 2 and read it. Some RINOS were curious and asked. Cell division was understood before high school.

I can't help you with explaining human development as it's complicated but the longest survival of a human " baby" requires at least 23 weeks of being inside it's mommy's " tummy" .

A human " baby" inside it's mommy's "tummy" can be in pain from not growing " right"( doctor's say " in distress" ) and the things a doctor has to do to a baby to keep it alive when it comes too early and doesn't have all it's " body parts" can cause a baby to be in bad pain and not everything can be fixed to stop bad trouble. You don't get to see pictures of "babies" who have really, really bad problems ( like body parts that are outside their body instead of inside).

Hope this helps you understand a little that sometimes bad things happen after a cell divides.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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