Mississippi won, lost with GOP gains

Published 12:03 am Sunday, November 7, 2010

A look in a dictionary for the word “congress,” as in the U.S. Congress, might as well show it is synonymous with the word “clout.” Not so much in Mississippi, as of Tuesday.

Here’s the breakdown. In the statewide general election, Mississippi’s delegation was transformed from two Republican senators and one Republican and three Democrats in the House of Representatives to two Republican senators — neither Thad Cochran nor Roger Wicker faced re-election — and one Democrat and three Republicans in the House.

On the face, it would seem the switch would be a good thing because the state would have more alignment with the controlling party’s House of Representatives. But, as has been proved to change time and again, delegates and parties come and go — as quickly as every two years. (Remember, the Democrats were on top of the world two years ago.)

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So, what does that mean for Mississippi?

Subtract the party affiliation, and it leaves the state — a small fish in the big lake of Congress — minus 23 years of experience in the faces of Gene Taylor from South Mississippi and Travis Childers from North Mississippi and minus a whole bunch of clout.

Clout is the ticket in Congress.

Though the new winners bring the first Republican-majority delegation for the state, it matters not.

Clout ruled long before the decades that John C. Stennis and James O. Eastland carried big sticks in the halls of Congress, and it will rule long after the current bunch is gone.