Monday night Chris McDaniel, a Mississippi state senator, ruffled a few feathers with members of the Department of Political Science. McDaniel was on campus giving a talk about the importance of the individual in government.
Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society on campus, organized the event. During the question-and-answer portion of the program, McDaniel insulted Kate Greene, a political science professor.
Greene started off the questioning by asking McDaniel about his interpretation of the Constitution and the freedoms it gives certain peoples, since a majority of his talk centered around his interpretation of the Constitution.
His first response to her was an off-collar joke about her attitude that Greene took offense to, causing her to walk out of the room after a member of McDaniel’s staff ended what might have turned into an argument between the two.
“Even if he meant for it to be funny, he’s smart enough to know that he’s not George Carlin and so it couldn’t end well,” said Connor Blakeney, a senior political science major.
“He also completely avoided the question while telling a constitutional law professor that she was wrong in regards to constitutional law.”
“The fact that he made that insult, tried to take it back, then basically insulted her again by telling her she was wrong about her own field of study was egregious,” Blakeney said.
“Instead of apologizing that the joke didn’t go over well he put it back on (Greene) and made it seem like it was her fault for not taking it like he meant,” he said. “To me it made it seem like he isn’t good at admitting his own faults and mistakes. One of the biggest problems we have in politics is deflection of blame, no (ones) seems to want to take responsibility for what happens. We don’t need more of that in politics, we need someone to look for solutions instead of someone else to blame.”
Other students in attendance felt this incident was not doing him any favors after what was already a poor talk, such as Rainer Gallagher, a senior political science major.
“I didn’t like how he kept referring to himself a liberty-loving conservative, thus painting the picture that anybody opposing him was un-American,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher also made the remark that this was probably intended as a campaign opportunity, but was not successful due to the poor attendance. The audience seemed to be mainly made up of people who already supported McDaniel.
McDaniel could have used a larger audience considering he is currently campaigning against Thad Cochran for a seat in the Congressional Senate.
“I had not heard very much about him until a couple days ago when I received an email about this event,” said Josh Polk, sophomore psychology and criminal justice double major.
“I do not know how strong of a campaign he has, but it has not reached me very well. However, I have heard a lot from Thad Cochran.”
While the event may not have damaged McDaniel’s image much, some attendants believe it certainly did not help his campaign chances.
Senate elections are scheduled for Nov. 4.