In the end, it was not enough.
Not enough that Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Republican candidate in the Mississippi Senate runoff tonight, was caught on tape saying she would be willing to take a front-row seat at a “public hanging” if one of her important supporters invited her—an odd offer, to say the least, in a state that has a horrific history that includes 581 lynchings from 1882 to 1968, according to the NAACP, the most of any state in that period.
Not enough that Hyde-Smith, after visiting the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, took to social media and posted a photograph of herself sporting a Confederate cap and calling the place “Mississippi history at its best!”
Not enough that she attended a “segregation academy”—one of the private essentially whites-only schools that were hastily set up in the state to circumvent the federally mandated integration of public schools; Hyde-Smith sent her daughter to one of these as well.
None of this shameful record was enough to hand victory to her opponent, Democrat Mike Espy. At a rally on Monday to bolster Hyde-Smith, President Trump said of Espy: “He’s far left. Oh, he’s out there. How does he fit in with Mississippi?”
Espy, a former congressman and U.S. secretary of agriculture, was born in Mississippi. He was the first African American to represent the state in Congress since Reconstruction. He would have made a fine senator, but it was not to be. Alas, not in Mississippi, at least not yet.