/Cindy Hyde-Smith is her own woman — she just doesn’t want anyone to know it

Cindy Hyde-Smith is her own woman — she just doesn’t want anyone to know it

She was not on the Senate floor where she had voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, she was at the offices of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, conducting a tele-townhall and calling supporters. Hyde-Smith would spend most Fridays in Mississippi campaigning for the special elections, which are just 32 days away. The Senate was held hostage by the Kavanaugh vote. Campaigning by phone would be a good option.

Victoria Lord, a D.C. resident, had had a long day as well, and was now outside the NRSC offices at Second Street. Victoria Lord, a D.C. resident who was protesting Kavanaugh’s nomination had been holding her “Believe Survivors” poster for so long that guards at the building had three times called the police on her.

Lord felt angry and discouraged. Lord felt discouraged and angry after she saw Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) announce that she would vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation in a long 45-minute speech on the Senate floor. This effectively guaranteed his seat at the Supreme Court. Two Republican women, Hyde-Smith and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va), sat behind Collins at the desks that are normally used by male colleagues.

Hyde-Smith would later explain that Collins’ decision to seat behind her was not a deliberate move but a spontaneous one. The fact that three women were present on the camera was a visual argument for Kavanaugh’s support. “I believe there is a special type of woman that’s willing to sacrifice her integrity in exchange for power and money. Lord said that the Republicans appear to have a few women similar to Lord._x000D

Lord shouted at Hyde Smith when the Reagan Center’s glass doors opened. She walked out wearing the same grey pantsuit and pink shirt that she wore behind Collins. Hyde-Smith looked in Lord’s direction and then focused her attention on her SUV. She slipped past a staffer to the backseat of the car as it pulled away, her shoulders tightening. Lord quietly said that Hyde Smith was the first Mississippi woman to send to Congress. “And shame on her.” The stakes Hyde-Smith ignored the Lord incident, sitting in the large Senate office Sen. Cochran used until recently.

Hyde-Smith stated, “I take freedom to speech very seriously. And everyone needs that opportunity.” I guess screaming at you isn’t always respectful. “As long as they are not in my personal area, you know that that’s part if this job.” The most important part Hyde-Smith’s job right now is to hold onto it in the Nov. 6, special election. This will make it simple, and possibly even beneficial, for the senator, 59, to ignore animosity from Lord and other activists. Hyde-Smith doesn’t consider Lord to be the most desirable demographic. Trump supporters are what she wants. To prove her loyalty to Trump, his policies and his nominees for federal court has meant that she lost any sense of independence or feminism in her heated campaign for reelection. It’s not always easy. Hyde Smith is the first Mississippi woman to be elected to Congress. She is also one of six Republican women serving in the U.S. Senate. In this special election, Hyde Smith is the only woman competing against three men. If her bid succeeds, she will be the first Mississippi woman to be elected to a congressional seat. Hyde-Smith doesn’t mention the fact that it has cemented her place as a historical figure when she is on the campaign trail. “I don’t know why they didn’t mention it. It’s not something I think anyone considered. It’s huge. It’s going to go down history,” said Rep. Becky Currie (R-Brookhaven), who introduced Hyde Smith at the August Women for Cindy Hyde Smith Jackson event. Hyde Smith and Currie didn’t mention Hyde Smith’s gender. “But they should boast about it more, because I think women respond to that,” Hyde-Smith, a fifth generation farmer from Brookhaven, said. “This is not all about Cindy.” This was evident when her statewide bus tour began Saturday. The bus’s banners and six-foot photos of Hyde Smith with President Trump are displayed on each side. Hyde-Smith had not participated in many campaign events in Mississippi and was unable to step on a debate stage alongside her rivals before the bus tour. Mississippi Today has been to more than half of Hyde Smith’s campaign events in the last two months. The publication interviewed her supporters and former colleagues during her time in state government. Mississippi Today interviewed Hyde-Smith, two of them in her Washington, D.C. office, the weekend after Kavanaugh was confirmed. These conversations revealed a more complex Hyde-Smith who, despite being a state senator and statewide office holder was not well known to most Mississippians. Hyde-Smith, who spoke with Mississippi Today, blasted Kavanaugh’s opponents and passionately advocated for sexual assault survivors. She expressed her discomfort at Trump’s mockery, in one unguarded moment. This was during the Southaven rally, where Trump supported Hyde-Smith. Trump mocked Ford’s remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee when she stated that she couldn’t recall details from a night in 1980s when Kavanaugh and Mark Judge tried to rape it on her. The remarks of the president drew laughters and applause from his audience. However, Trump’s remarks about Ford’s testimony drew swift rebuke from Republicans as well. Hyde Smith was not one of them. She stated in a statement that the laughter from the crowd “simply reflects frustration with the way this process has been politicized.” However, Hyde Smith looks down, then exhales, when Hyde Smith was asked how it felt to hear Trump mock Kavanaugh’s accuser. “You know, I can only speak for myself. That would be something I would never have done. Hyde-Smith declined to answer further questions, saying that although she couldn’t speak for President Trump, it was something she would have never done. This off-the-cuff confession, delivered in the midst of a debate, would undoubtedly be fodder for state senator Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville), a fierbrand who almost defeated Cochran four years ago. His own comments about the absurdity of sexual assault allegations have drawn national attention — and comparisons with Trump. In the final weeks of the campaign Team Cindy realizes that the fight they are waging against Mike Espy (a former Democratic congressman and Clinton agriculture secretary), is not against McDaniel. Hyde-Smith dismisses McDaniel’s most frequent attack — doubts over her conservatism — and makes it a non-issue, just as she did with Lord. Hyde-Smith was elected three times to the state Senate, first as a Democrat, then switched to the Republican party in 2011. This was just before a successful bid for statewide office.

Hyde-Smith stated that Phil Bryant is a conservative governor and would never appoint anyone he didn’t think was a hundred percent (conservative) when he had the power to do so. “There is a reason McDaniel doesn’t bring up mine. He won’t talk about my record. Trump wearing his jersey. Hyde-Smith refers to her voting record in U.S. Senate. Hyde-Smith has voted in support of Trump’s agenda 100% of the time since her swearing-in in April. She is the only U.S. senator to have that track record. Hyde Smith and Trump are both committed to Trump’s cause. Hyde Smith waited almost five months after Bryant had appointed Hyde Smith to the U.S. Senate to endorse her in the November election. Trump’s praise for Hyde-Smith was largely focused on his agenda in DeSoto County. McDaniel beat her predecessor Cochran by nearly 40 points in 2014. He called the senator a “true patriot”, and said to the crowd that Cindy has voted for me 100 percent of all times. She has always stood by me. She has always been there for you. A vote for Cindy is a voter for me and make America great once again.” Recent polls suggest that Hyde-Smith may have received the boost she needed from Trump’s DeSoto County visit. Hyde-Smith bristles at the idea that she’s a Trump supporter. A NBC News/Marist poll showed that Hyde Smith gained as much as 14 percentage points following the rally in October. “We share the same conservative values. You think the same way when you are on the same team. Hyde-Smith said, “You happen to be on one page.” A review of 46 bills that Hyde-Smith has co-sponsored can help you understand her values. These include conservative measures like rolling back labor union protections and expanding concealed carry laws. There are also three other bills that further regulate abortion. Mississippi only has one abortion clinic. The federal crime of transporting a minor across statelines for an abortion would be made a federal offense. This would make it more difficult for women under 18 to get an abortion anywhere else in the country than Jackson. Hyde-Smith, a Democratic state senator who is anti-abortion, says that abortion opposition is “one thing I won’t compromise”. “I have one child.” I wish I could have a dozen. But to believe that it is up to another human to decide whether another person lives or not, is quite strong,” Hyde Smith told Mississippi Today. She spoke from her office the morning she voted to confirm Kavanaugh. Hyde-Smith also signed on to more than a dozen bipartisan, noncontroversial bills that would directly benefit Mississippi. These include funding rural infrastructure projects and expanding medical care for children with disabilities. Hyde-Smith is also the sole author on three other bills, two of which benefit veterans and one that prohibits federal funding for state gun registryies. McDaniel’s strong conservative voting record has been criticized, but Hyde-Smith rarely dwells on details when she is on the stump. In July, she stressed the importance of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Kavanaugh. She then told Greenwood that she was working on a wall at the U.S.-Mexico frontier, one of Trump’s greatest campaign promises. She has praised Trump’s tough stance on tariffs with China, Canada, and even farmers and contractors who would be the most affected by a trade war. Hyde-Smith is described by former colleagues in the state senate including Mike Chaney, Insurance Commissioner, and Bill Hudson, R-Hattiesburg as a workaholic. “If Hyde-Smith has a quality, it is that she works too hard. Hudson stated that she doesn’t stop eating or sleeping. She loves Mississippi. “She loves Mississippi. Hyde-Smith stated that she spent three hours in the Senate room studying the FBI’s final report on Kavanaugh the day it was handed down. After listening to the entire FBI briefing, Hyde-Smith said she then sat next to Collins and reviewed every page of each hard copy the FBI provided to senators. She said, “I’m just an ordinary woman from Lawrence County in Mississippi.” You bring me a list of circumstances and say, “This is what you should weigh out,” and guess what? “You’re in a place that you can get a yes or no vote. I’m going do my research. “I’m going in neck first,” Southern girl Hyde-Smith wasn’t the first to jump in neck when Hyde-Smith was offered the chance to be a U.S. senator. This was not on the radar. This was not a goal. She told Mississippi Today that it was something she didn’t want to do. Hyde-Smith laughs as she recounts the call from Gov. Bryant officially asked her to replace Cochran. She told Jacksonians in August that the governor had said to her, “You’re not the only one who asked me for the job.” Hyde-Smith still attends Macedonia Baptist Church on weekends. The next step was deep reflections and prayer. It was her “best decision ever” and she now considers it to be the best. Hyde-Smith temporarily took over Cochran’s second row center desk on the Senate Floor. Also, the ground-floor Dirksen Building office, as well as the Kurtzman baby-grand piano that the senator played. With its green walls and embroidered upholstery, as well as wood paneling, the decor has a more formal, masculine look than Hyde-Smith’s casual image. Hyde-Smith will not have the opportunity to redecorate. If she is reelected, she will be part of the office shuffle. Cochran’s grand suite that Bobby Kennedy occupied in the 1960s as a senator, will be given to a senior member. Hyde-Smith is used being a woman in an all-male world. Before becoming Mississippi’s first woman senator, Hyde-Smith was also the state’s first female agricultural commissioner and the first female senator from District 39. She describes herself as a “major tomboy” and grew up riding horses on the Lawrence County farm of her grandparents. At six years old, she jumped on her first dirtbike and continues to ride it every weekend that she visits Washington. She was seven when her father taught her how drive a tractor.

According to Mississippi Today, she doesn’t think about being a woman in politics, even though she admits that there was some patriarchal resistance to her rise. Hyde-Smith stated that the opportunities were there and she felt God had called her to them. “I was worried that there would be some resistance to my position as commissioner of agriculture, but it was very small.

Hyde-Smith has faced unique challenges being a woman. Hyde-Smith was five weeks old when she was granted the right to run for state senator in 1999. She was only five weeks old at the time. Her commute from Brookhaven to Jackson was an hour long.

Hyde-Smith stated, “You know what? Just the hardest thing that I’ve ever prayed for was who would take my child if i won during session.” “I said, “Lord, I’m going leave this baby if you’re elected but it’s in my hands and we’re just going following your lead.”

Hyde-Smith was not interested in ascending to the top of Mississippi’s power, but rather in removing W.L. Smith, an incumbent senator. Rayborn, a 20 year veteran of the Legislature who she describes as being more interested in representing herself than Mississippi’s District 39. Rayborn, a 20-year veteran of the Legislature, was twice her supporter in Democratic primaries. She describes Rayborn as more interested in representing herself than Mississippi’s District 39.

Hyde-Smith stated, “And I just kinda thought I’m going have to do it myself.” He and I didn’t share the same values. “And, you know what, it was more about him that it was about moving Mississippi forward.”

Hyde-Smith is a typical small-town gentleman and refuses to name Rayborn or specify her issues. Rayborn was an eccentric who loved to allow non-dentists to make false smiles. He was a denturist who didn’t have a dental degree and would arrive at the capitol with stickers, buttons, and signs advertising his bill. It died in committee in 1999, his last year as an officeholder. There is always a moment during Hyde-Smith’s campaign speeches when she points to her lapel and shows her U.S. Senate Pin. After swearing her in, Vice President Mike Pence put it on her lapel and said, “Cindy. This pin will get you into any door in Washington, D.C.” She then pauses and looks at her audience as she did in August at Jackson. This is your pin. This pin is shared by everyone in the room. It’s not just about Cindy Hyde Smith, I assure. I’m there to support Mississippi. “I’m there for Mississippi.

“She is saying, “I represent you.” She says, “I’m here to support you,” and I believe that she really means it. Flaggs, who is now Independent, said that she was humble.

State Rep. Currie stated that she was shocked to see Sen. Hyde Smith in the produce section on a Saturday visit to Walmart.

“I said, ‘I have never seen a U.S. citizen.'” Currie said Currie, “And I said, ‘I’ve never seen a U.S. senator grocery shopping.’ She then said, ‘then that would have been really shocked if you saw me cleaning my home this morning.'” Cindy is Cindy. “But Cindy is just Cindy.