At an event with Donald Trump Jr., the Republican nominee for Mississippi governor, Tate Reeves, made a vow to supporters last month: “We’re gonna run this state like Donald J. Trump is running America.”
Journalist Giacomo Bologna reported that comment in the Clarion-Ledger. But what does that mean?
Will Reeves govern Mississippi by tweet, complete with misspellings, conflicting messages, and disinformation?
Is Reeves saying that he will surround himself with people who, one after another, wind up getting investigated for crimes, indicted for crimes, or sentenced to prison for crimes—like Trump’s former personal attorney, current personal attorney, former campaign manager, former top foreign policy adviser, and others?
Is Reeves vowing to himself wind up a central figure in multiple criminal inquiries? (He is already under investigation for pushing for a frontage road project that would have benefited his private community, as Ashton Pittman reported in the Jackson Free Press.)
Does Reeves mean that he will attempt to build a wall around Mississippi to keep those “outsiders” he and other Mississippi politicians are always railing against (except, apparently, big donors and billionaire New Yorkers who come to campaign for them)?
Does Reeves mean that he will almost double Mississippi’s budget deficit over a four-year term, as Trump is on track to do for the U.S. as a whole?
Is Tate Reeves vowing to spend a quarter of his time as governor at private golf resorts—and use over $110 million in State taxpayer money to do so?
Are porn stars involved in this vow? Will Reeves hire a millionaire televangelist from Tupelo to work in the governor’s mansion? Will he try to ban people of the Muslim faith from the state? Will his own interests synonymous with Mississippi’s interests, and seek help from a foreign government to win his re-election?
That is what it would look like, after all, if Reeves ran Mississippi the way Trump runs America. Most likely, though, Reeves meant none of those things; he just wanted to assure Republican voters that, while he may only include two policy proposals on his website, he will be a steadfast friend to Donald Trump.
Reeves’ campaign, both in the GOP primary against Bill Waller and in the general against Democrat Jim Hood, has centered around national politics and portraying his opponents as insufficiently supportive of Trump.
Despite all of Trump’s negatives—the payoffs, solicitation of foreign election help, the criminal investigations, the impeachment inquiry, the aides in prison—, Reeves and many other Mississippi Republicans still see him as their golden ticket to electoral success.
Meanwhile, top Republicans like Gov. Phil Bryant, with the assistance of pro-GOP establishment outfit Y’all Politics, spent Monday night sharing a robocall former President Barack Obama made to support Jim Hood. The real scandal, they insisted, was Hood getting a last-minute endorsement from America’s first black president.
Both Democrat Jim Hood in the race for governor and Republican Delbert Hosemann in the race for lieutenant governor ran issues-centric campaigns. So did Waller, Reeves’ GOP primary opponent.
In future years, Mississippians must demand candidates who emphasize Mississippi issues instead of insulting campaigns focused on national politics—as if things are just so great here that the only thing that matters is who is in the White House.
Mississippians are voting for governor today. The polls close at 7 p.m. Go to the Mississippi Secretary of State website for more information on voting.
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