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Bounty hunter Reeves (?) spurs peculiar...

Bounty hunter Reeves (?) spurs peculiar re-election kickoff

By: Bill Crawford - May 14, 2023

With all the accomplishments that Reeves touts, it was most peculiar that he scrunched his positive message between the weird Eastwood video and the throwback Barnett-like rant.

Peculiar, yes that beats out perplexing, bizarre, cuckoo, and weird as the best word to describe how Gov. Tate Reeves’ re-election kickoff unfolded.

To begin, on Tuesday afternoon May 2nd his team tweeted a short and peculiar video. It morphed the Governor into the remorseless bounty hunter played by Clint Eastwood in his 1960s Dollars westerns. Reeves’ chubby face appeared on Eastwood’s lean body as he gunned down a bad guy, scared off three others, tried to look mean, twirled his gun into its holster, and puffed on a cigarillo. The “we’re back” caption hardly matched the peculiar video message.

While the video rebounded across Twitter, TikTok, and fringe blogs, most Mississippi media peculiarly ignored it.

On the night of May 2nd, Reeves held a traditional campaign rally in Gulfport. As might be expected, he touted his accomplishments since becoming governor – “Raising teacher pay, cutting taxes, raising school test scores, recruiting new jobs, and training the workforce,” reported the Magnolia Tribune.

The next day, he signed his qualifying papers and held a kick-off event in Richland. There he again touted those accomplishments – “Cutting government. Cutting taxes. Raising teacher pay. Raising test scores. Training our workers. Recruiting new jobs,” reported the Magnolia Tribune.  

“Today more of our people are working in Mississippi than ever before,” Reeves said as reported in the Clarion-Ledger. “Our unemployment rate of three and one-half percent is the lowest ever.”

Not stopping there, Reeves peculiarly chose to channel former Gov. Ross Barnett, a demagogic, fear-mongering character from the 1960s.

In 1962, Barnett revved up supporters’ fears in a radio message broadcast across Mississippi: “I speak to you now in the moment of our greatest crisis since the War Between the States,” he said. “Professional agitators and the unfriendly liberal press and other trouble makers are pouring across our borders intent upon instigating strife among our people.”

Reeves played on similar fears saying, “My friends, this is a different governor’s campaign than we have ever seen before in our state because we are not up against a local-yokel Mississippi Democrat, we are up against a national liberal machine.” “They” are out to get Mississippi, he said as reported by Mississippi Today.

Like the Eastwood video clip, most Mississippi media peculiarly failed to detail Reeves’ “they” are out to get Mississippi diatribe.

With all the accomplishments that Reeves touts, it was most peculiar that he scrunched his positive message between the weird Eastwood video and the throwback Barnett-like rant. It suggests either campaign concerns that are not evident to the public or a need for public concern about the Governor.

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each one according to his conduct, to what he has done” – Jeremiah 17:10.

About the Author(s)
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Bill Crawford

Canton native Bill Crawford enjoyed a unique and diverse career before his retirement in 2021 - editor and publisher of three weekly newspapers, EVP and CFO of Great Southern National Bank, VP for Community and Workforce Development at Meridian Community College, and founder and president of The Montgomery Institute. His government service included serving as one of the early Republican State Representatives, on the IHL Board (Fordice), as Deputy Director of MDA (Barbour), on the PERS Study Commission (Barbour), and on the Task Force on Contracting and Procurement for MDOC (Bryant). A graduate of Millsaps College with an MS from Mississippi State University, he has written a syndicated column since 2009. He and his wife Lynn live in Jackson.