It’s not easy being Chris McDaniel. First, the tea-party-aligned Mississippi state senator came within half a percentage point of beating incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the Republican primary June 3. Then he unexpectedly lost a runoff between the two of them, taking less of the vote the second time around. And now, his star witness in his case for a third election is recanting .
It’s been almost three weeks since Cochran defeated McDaniel in the runoff by 51 percent to 49 percent — a margin that is well outside the recount threshold for basically every state in the union.
Yet McDaniel and his supporters are pushing for an improbable do-over, based on theories involving Democrats illegally voting for Cochran and the Cochran campaign engaging in race-baiting and paying off black voters .
A local man named Stevie Fielder told a conservative blogger that the Cochran campaign gave him envelopes of cash to help lure hundreds of black voters to the polls. Only thing is, the results don’t indicate that such an effort — if it did exist — made any difference in Fielder’s locality.
Perhaps realizing that he had copped to what would be a pretty serious crime, Fielder decided Thursday that what he said wasn’t actually what he said. That whole vote-buying thing? Merely a “hypothetical,” he said.
“Hypothetical” — kind of like the possibility of the state holding a do-over election. In other words, “not happening.”
McDaniel’s rough week included an op-ed in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger from none other than Ann Coulter, telling him to knock it off and suggesting that he was inflicting irreparable harm on what was a bright political future.
Chris McDaniel, for having a seat in the Senate within your grasp, only to be left grasping at straws, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Each week, worst week in Washington goes to an inhabitant of Planet Beltway who stands out for all the wrong reasons. You can check out previous winners or e-mail Chris Cillizza with candidates. You can also read more from Outlook and follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter.