‘People Still Need Stuff’

by Rich Lowry

That sentiment appears to have made the difference for Thad Cochran last night — in addition to the “walking around money” John referred to last night. Here is a New York Times report from on the ground in Mississippi. Note the reference to one black Democrat getting paid to organize and to a pastor telling people to wave “Thad” signs:

Roger Smith, a black Democrat who said he was being paid to organize for Mr. Cochran, said, “I don’t know too much about McDaniel other than what McDaniel’s saying: that he’s Tea Party, he’s against Obama, he don’t like black people.”

“You’re going to get one of the white guys in there,” he said. “You got to make a choice.”

In downtown Hattiesburg, Democratic voters trickled out of the Court Street United Methodist Church, saying they had voted for a Republican for the first time in their lives — Mr. Cochran. Heath Kleinke, 38, held his 4-month-old baby and said he wanted her to get a good education in Mississippi, something he believed would be made more difficult if Mr. McDaniel were to make good on his proposal to cut federal funding.

“The fact that he openly criticizes Thad Cochran for talking to Democrats riled me up from the beginning,” added Mr. Kleinke, a graphic designer.

Kay Tyler, an African-American who works for the Jackson public school system, said Mr. Cochran simply never asked for her vote — until now. “He should have,” Ms. Tyler said.

White Democrats also turned out for the senator. Dorothy McGehee, 88, a lifelong Democrat who registered blacks to vote in the civil rights era, found herself putting out Cochran yard signs in Meadville, Miss., and begging her friends to vote.

Kino Sintee, 17, and three black friends waved “Thad” signs on a street corner in a black Hattiesburg neighborhood. They said the preacher from Mount Olive Baptist Church asked them to help out.

“They’re talking about taking everything away from us,” he said. “People still need stuff.”

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