MARTY RUSSELL: Senate primary could be out of this world



My mold has mold growing on it.

The grass on the lawn looks like it’s on steroids.

I’m thinking of trading in my truck for a 14-foot jon boat and an Evinrude.

Since when did we have monsoon season in Mississippi?

If you’re like me, and I sincerely hope you’re not, you’ve been stuck inside for what seems like weeks staring out the window at the relentless rain and wondering what happened to summer. Unable to go outside and do normal summertime things like mow the lawn, have a barbecue or soak up some rays without getting soaked, I’ve been kicking around the house looking for something to pass the time while keeping one eye on the pets in case they snap and go rogue from being cooped up for so long.

One of the chores I’ve been avoiding for a while is scanning boxes and boxes of my old newspaper stories and columns that have been gathering dust for years. It’s not like I’ll ever need them again, but I just can’t bring myself to toss out almost 30 years of work despite the wasted space they’ve been taking up.

So one recent rainy afternoon (aren’t they all these days?) I decided to take the plunge (only water metaphors seem to come to mind for some reason) and dive into them. Curiously enough, one of the first folders I pulled out was a bunch of columns I had written 20 years ago back in 1994. One of them involved Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran.

Now I haven’t waded (there I go again) into the current morass that is the Republican Senate primary this year because there are plenty of other pundits who have and I figured why pile on when readers are probably already as sick and tired of reading about it as they are from watching it rain. But when I came across this particular column from May of ’94 I thought it was worth revisiting.

It involved a front-page article in that bastion of fine journalism, the Weekly World News. The headline screamed “12 U.S. SENATORS ARE SPACE ALIENS!” I scanned the pictures of the 12 on the cover and was surprised to see that neither of Mississippi’s two senators was among them.

So I did what any good journalist would do and picked up the phone to get some reaction to this stupendous revelation. I called then- Sen. Trent Lott’s office for a response and never got one. But later I did get a call from Sen. Cochran.

“I’m glad to learn that only 12 of my colleagues are from outer space,” Cochran told me. “I would have guessed a higher number.”

Now given some of Chris McDaniel’s, Cochran’s opponent in the GOP runoff this year, stances that would be extremely detrimental to Mississippi, you have to wonder about his planet of origin. At least Cochran is on the record as not being a space alien.

Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at

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  • 1941641

    Next- up in Mississippi will be the Tea Pots messing around Wicker’s backdoor. They slammed Cantor down for a loss just yesterday. Some college professor with a name almost like mine: BRATT! A “BRATT” by golly! All you can really say is: the Republicans are getting just what they deserve! LOL!!