Of all of the upstarts challenging Republican senators in 2014, something about Chris McDaniel makes him stand out from the rest. It may be his way of speaking, sort of Ted Cruz-meets-Joel Osteen-meets-Bill Clinton, a folksy, freedom-loving, doom filled warning for Mississippians that their way of life is disappearing on Thad Cochran’s watch. “The Republic is in trouble,” he said when he announced his run for the Senate. “You sense it. Millions of people feel like strangers in their land.”
The 41-year-old state senator also stands out for the support he’s gotten from Washington-based conservative groups at odds with the Senate Republican leadership. Within hours of Cochran’s announcement that he’d run for reelection, McDaniel had picked up endorsements from the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, Senate Conservatives Fund, Tea Party Express, and The Madison Project, making him the only candidate so far to receive all five.
Finally, as a lawyer and former nationally-syndicated talk radio host, McDaniel also stands out for the whistle-clean blows he delivers to anything he says isn’t expressly granted by the Constitution. Obamacare? “Kill the bill,” he told AFR Talk Radio. Increase the debt ceiling? “No chance.” His approach to legislating in Mississippi and D.C.? “No compromises, no surrenders.”
The Madison Project calls McDaniel the easiest challenger to get behind in 2014, in part because of his “uninfringeable desire to storm the castle,” a quality that could help him fit right in alongside now-veteran castle-stormers Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee if he makes it to D.C.