Chris McDaniel Said Something So Offensive, Thad Cochran’s Campaign Can’t Even Spell It

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 17 2014 10:26 AM

Chris McDaniel Said Something So Offensive, Thad Cochran’s Campaign Can’t Even Spell It

Contrary to popular belief, Mitch McConnell, left, and Thad Cochran are not the two kids who tied in last month's National Spelling Bee.

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Nearly a month ago, I defended then-struggling U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel from one of the dumber charges lobbed his way. As a radio host, McDaniel had once joked about a candidate "using her boobies" to run for office. Allies of Sen. Thad Cochran found this potentially offensive enough to move votes; I pedantically pointed out that the candidate in question, 2006 Alabama Libertarian Party hopeful Loretta Nall, literally did talk about her endowments on the trail and in earned media.

One lost primary later, one week before the decisive runoff, Thad Cochran's campaign is returning to the well. After blasting mailboxes with a speak-and-spell mailer that played McDaniel's quotes, the campaign is up with an ad that "censors" them, bleeping out words like "boobies" to make the quotes sound even worse. (It's a bleeping technique that has been used elsewhere for high comedy.)


And yet, in the still picture above, you may notice that McDaniel is quoted calling someone "mamasita." That's not how you spell it! It's mamacita, as the WSJ accurately reported two months ago after listening to an episode in which McDaniel joked about speaking Spanish. 

Maybe this is beside the point. It's been two month since the quotes emerged, giving plenty of time for voters to decide whether McDaniel is recklessly unelectable or whether there might be more audio dynamite out there to destroy him. And the Cochran campaign is whiffing even when using the old opposition research. Doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.*

*Correction, June 17, 2014: This post originally misstated that the McDaniel campaign is whiffing.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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