/Reclusive Cochran from 2014 election was an anomaly ‘He was an icon of a different era’

Reclusive Cochran from 2014 election was an anomaly ‘He was an icon of a different era’

Rose Cochran, his wife, and Cochran traveled together in the same vehicle, stayed at the same motel/hotel, and often ate with each other. Cochran would occasionally stress that a comment was not public, but reporters had almost complete access to Cochran’s success in becoming the first Republican to win the state of Mississippi’s statewide office. After a long career in journalism, Gray of Meridian is now the executive director of Phil Hardin Foundation. He said that Cochran had “no fear” dealing with the media. Gray stated that he couldn’t imagine such transparency with any politician today and that it was rare for this time period. Gray stated that Cochran was an icon from a different time, but he was still a different kind of person. After a long illness, Cochran, once one of the most powerful senators in the U.S. Senate was killed in Oxford on Thursday. People who see Cochran’s political career ending through the lense of his last, stripped-knuckled campaign in 2014 do not have an accurate and complete understanding of Thad Cochran or Mississippi’s political history. Cochran did not do interviews during the 2014 campaign and did very few political events. Cochran was nearly in hiding, which is not a good way of running a campaign. Cochran was able to start running a campaign after Chris McDaniel (Republican from Elliesville), won the most votes but didn’t get the majority required to avoid a runoff. It could have been Cochran’s poor health, or the fact that he was ready to resign but was persuaded to run again to keep the Appropriations chair so vital to Mississippi. Paul “Buzzy” Mize, a Tupelo native who was a graduate of Mississippi State University and worked on Cochran’s 1978 first Senate campaign, stated that Cochran “was released” at the conclusion of the 2014 campaign. Mize, who has been close to Cochran’s campaign in 1978, stated that he had seen the old Cochran back then. Mize, for example, recalls Cochran answering a question about what it takes to succeed in the U.S. Senate at a Fulton campaign event. Mize stated that Cochran spoke about building consensus and working hard. Mize also traveled with Cochran to Fulton, Itawamba County in 1978. Mize stated that he was driving a Ford pickup truck in yellow at the time. He said that he had been driving since the first day. Mize said that he didn’t like the way I drove. Mize also admitted that he may have been hyper for Cochran, who is known for being calm and low-key. “I still own that truck.” Cochran campaigned again with Mize near the end of 2014. Mize was asked, “Did he still have a car?” Mize laughed and said, “No, but he wouldn’t let me drive.” “My not driving was key.” During his tenure as Appropriations Chair, a reporter from Mississippi called Cochran’s spokesperson late at night to ask for comment on a federal issue that affected the state. The reporter left that evening without receiving a reply. The reporter discovered that Cochran had called the reporter late at night and left a message on the answering system responding to his question. Cochran told the reporter to contact him if he needed additional information. It would normally take several days to interview a politician with the same power as Cochran. This accessibility changed with the 2014 election. Perhaps one election too many for Thad Cochran, who resigned in April 2018 after completing his six-year term. Cochran has never held a state office. He only served in federal positions at the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. A service will be held Monday morning at the Capitol to honor Cochran, which may indicate the state’s importance for many. Visitation will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday at the University of Mississippi School of Law. A service will also be held at Northminster Baptist Church, Jackson.