Here’s an example of what Cochran says when he is allowed to talk to the press (in this case, the Washington Post’s Dan Balz): “I thought it was time for me to retire,” he said. “I thought I’d served long enough. . . .But people were saying, what are we going to do without you?”
This isn’t the worst gaffe in the world, but it’s certainly not good.
First, voters want to vote for a candidate who really wants the job. If you’re feisty and champing at the bit (think of the winning incumbents like McCain, Hatch, and McConnell), it’s hard to peg you as old and out-of-touch.
But this statement makes it seem like Cochran really thinks he should retire, yet he’s letting other people influence his decision. (And, by the way, who are these other people who are saying “what are we going to do without you?” Is that his staff who need a job? Or maybe a handful of guys at some diner? We don’t know.)
Or, to put it another way, he’s saying: “JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS OUT, THEY PULL ME BACK IN!
If he wants out, maybe the voters will oblige?
In the mean time, Team Cochran is wise to keep the the good Senator out of the media glare as much as possible. He seems to have little reason for being re-elected (heck, he doesn’t even want to be re-elected.)
Were it not for a stupid stunt whereby a conservative blogger allegedly sneaked into a nursing home to snap a photo of Cochran’s bedridden wife, it’s hard to imagine Cochran would have much hope of pulling off a victory on Tuesday.
And that’s the amazing thing to consider: At the end of the day, a blogger’s blunder might be what gives Cochran six more years in the Senate.