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Running Against Career Politicians

December 14, 2010

Should they face off in the general election for governor, chances are Republican Dave Dennis and Democrat Bill Luckett won’t agree on a whole lot of issues. But a quick glance at their campaign websites and you see they have one major theme in common: neither are career politicians (and they want you to know that).

From Dennis’ site:

Governor Kirk Fordice believed you should sign the front side of a paycheck before running for office. He meant our state’s leaders should have the private sector experience of creating jobs and making payroll; and the private sector leadership to make tough decisions. I have that experience and leadership. For thirty-four years I have worked as a contractor on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and served as president of our family business. We make payroll. We’ve participated in the construction of thousands of buildings. We create American jobs. And we give back to the community…When voters look at Washington, D.C. or the Mississippi Capitol, they know what doesn’t work: machine politics, bureaucracy, looking out for the government instead of looking out for the citizens. That isn’t me.

From Luckett’s site:

Mississippi needs a fresh and new perspective in leadership. Our children need an advocate instead of elected officials serving special interests. Our work force needs to be supported with education, smart ideas and down home persistence in delivering the message to the world that Mississippians are the most honest, hard-working, adaptable, giving and committed people on this planet…The career politicians have had their chance to bring prosperity and change. They have failed. They are the voices of the past. Bill Luckett is the voice of our future.

Another thing these men have in common? Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant. Dennis and Bryant will square off in the GOP primary (whenever Bryant formally announces his intentions to run). If Bryant wins that, he may very well meet Luckett in the general election (Luckett has to get through his own primary as well).

Running against career politicians has obviously caught fire over the past year, and in Mississippi that seems be from all directions. The DCCC and Mississippi Democratic Party railed against ‘career politician’ Alan Nunnelee, although obviously to little success. It has worked miracles for others.

For Luckett (or whomever the Democratic nominee is), they will argue that the establishment in Jackson is the problem and the cause of the state’s situation, especially economically. Democrats are hoping that the face of the establishment is the GOP, holders of seven of the eight statewide offices.

For Dennis, he can’t come out swinging against Bryant- a very popular figure overall, and especially within the GOP electorate. Most people don’t have an opinion of Dennis yet, and I don’t think coming out attacking will be too wise (see Angela McGlowan). Rather Dennis seems to be taking an approach similar to what Henry Ross did in the MS-01 primary, positioning himself as an outsider and offering an alternative approach. Ross obviously came up short but he had much less time than Dennis will.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. MSDawg permalink
    December 14, 2010 9:39 am

    Ross also had much less money than Dennis will.

  2. catty permalink
    December 14, 2010 10:48 am

    Dennis may try to fit into the mold of the “outsider” but then how does he successfully explain his term as a member of the Federal Reserve Board? Unless he can find a way to dismiss the implication of the dark side of both the motives and the secrecy of the Federal Reserve he will not be able to wear the clothes of the “outsider”. And while he presents a fresh, new face and is an obvious proven businessman, those who have tried to help him in the past say” he doesn’t listen” to advice. Being a close friend of so many current nationally recognized political leaders doesn’t fit with being an outsider either. No, he needs to campaign as a successful businessman who understands the difficult economic times and will be able to guide us through these perilous years without compromise to political deals. But then, if he won’t take advice he will be just another also ran candidate. Anybody remember Mike Parker?

  3. olemissgop permalink
    December 14, 2010 6:07 pm

    Before listening to any of the candidates, I would say that I am a Bryant supporter. However, I believe that this election may be like the situations in many football programs across the state. I believe two of the main questions that will be asked are, “What have you done for me (the state) lately?” and “What is your plan for the future and how do you plan to accomplish it?” These questions I feel will be ones that people will demand answers to… and based on the candidate answers will determine the way voters vote.

  4. travis permalink
    December 14, 2010 11:39 pm

    Dennis is no Bernanke. From my understanding, business professionals like Dennis give the Fed insight into the regional economy. He may have an understanding of how the Fed works, but I doubt he is responsible for QE.

    • Chickamauga permalink
      December 15, 2010 2:48 am

      Travis is correct. Dennis wasn’t a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors…he was a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New Orleans. Those guys don’t get votes on any major Fed policy decisions.

  5. Amber permalink
    December 15, 2010 12:43 pm

    I hope Dennis and Bryant keep it clean. That method worked for Nunnelee.

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