Is it time to fire up a "Draft Mike Moore" website? From an online chat at WashingtonPost.com:
Alexandria, Va.: Shailagh, I recently saw a report that indicated that Sen. Cochran of Mississippi was considering retiring. Are you aware if there's anything more to this? Thanks.
washingtonpost.com: Cochran undecided on re-election plans (Northeastern Mississippi Daily Journal, Nov. 9)
Shailagh Murray: Full disclosure: Sen. Cochran is one of my very favorite members. And if I had to bet money on it, based on an informed hunch, I would say he will retire.
"Informed hunch"? Sounds like Cochran has been openly talking retirement. Nice. That might explain all the rumors bombarding me the last couple of weeks -- none of which I've been able to source.
Mike Moore was Mississippi's Attorney General between 1988 and 2004, and was wildly popular in the state. He was the lead negotiator in the huge $246 billion tobacco settlement a few years back.
He was considering a race when Trent Lott was thinking about retiring last cycle, and would instantly make Mississippi a top-tier race if Cochran bowed out and opened up this seat. You can bet the NRSC is doing everything in their power to keep Cochran in the race. If they fail, they may be in line for their first loss in the deep South in several cycles.
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