Strange Tales From Mississippi

The strangest story of the 2014 election cycle could be developing in Mississippi, where (to telescope some developments) a right-wing blogger very invested in Chris McDaniel’s primary challenge to Thad Cochran busted into a nursing home where Cochran’s wife has been confined with dementia for some years and took pictures he subsequently used for an “attack video” he put together. Said blogger (who calls himself “Constitutional Clayton” Kelly) was subsequently arrested on charges of exploiting a vulnerable adult, the video came down, and the brief furor might have remained brief had not McDaniels’ campaign made sympathetic overtures to the Cochran campaign a mite too fast, before news of Kelly’s arrest had been made public.

It’s very unlikely the story will lead to clear evidence of McDaniel campaign foreknowledge of or complicity with the bizarre and probably (hard to say, since nobody’s talking about what was actually on the expunged video) cruel stunt by Kelly. So Chris McDaniel won’t go down as the Tonya Harding of the 2014 campaign. But as with any fishy coincidence, and this close to a June 3 primary, having to spend time denying anything is not a good thing.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.