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Former Ole Miss Chancellor Khayat Endorses Sen. Cochran

Chancellor Robert C. Khayat
Robert Khayat

This letter is written to ask all Mississippians who vote on Tuesday in the U.S. Senate election to vote for Thad Cochran. To be clear: I am not a Democrat; I am not a Republican; I am not a member of the Tea Party or any other political organization. I write as a lifelong Mississippian because I am so concerned about our nation and our state.
I share the frustration of many of you with the current leadership (or lack thereof) in the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. The failure of our elected national officials to be able to reach thoughtful decisions because of party politics, special interest groups or lobbyists frankly makes me sick.
Fundamental in our system of government is the belief we can elect a President, 100 Senators and 435 Members of the House who will always make decisions that are in the best interests of the people of America. Our Founders knew there would be differences of opinion and there should be, but the guiding principle has to be “what is best for America.” The inability of President Obama, Harry Reid, John Boehner and other leaders to reach an agreement on vital issues is a clear failure of leadership. Like many of you, I am sick of it.
In the Mississippi seat for U.S. Senate we confront the reality of the “system” as it is currently established. Those of us across America need – must – understand that the system that prevails in the Congress is based upon seniority. The longer you serve the nearer the point of decision making you reach. A first-term senator or House Member sits on the back row and for several years is virtually irrelevant. Committee appointments and Chairs of committees go to those who have served for the longest number of years.
Sen. Thad Cochran

I wish we had term limits, but we do not. Therefore, given the current, longstanding rules, we must elect people who will have access to the decision points. In the current U.S. Senate race, that person is Thad Cochran.
A lot has been written and spoken about excessive spending. I personally feel the Congress and President have failed us by not balancing the budget, and not agreeing to a plan to reduce and end the $17 trillion national debt. That is an example of failed leadership.
There are too many issues to comment on even a few. However, we should remember that we are a blessed country with remarkable resources, and if they are responsibly and courageously managed, our leadership of the world would never be questioned.
Mississippians involved in agriculture should review the role of Senator Cochran in your work and success; those in education from kindergarten through the universities need to know the impact Senator Cochran has had on our state; those of you who work at the Pascagoula shipyard should remember the decline in employment when you don’t have ship contracts.  Highways, parks, education, health care, support for the very poor … the list goes on. Thad Cochran has been out front for Mississippi and we are better and stronger as a result of his efforts.
If you want Mississippi to have a seat at the table of decision making in Washington, I hope you can lay aside your unhappiness with the failure of our national government and know that Thad Cochran is one of the bright lights in Washington who can help us regain our strength and the good feelings we should have about being Americans.
My wife Margaret and I voted for Thad Cochran for reasons mentioned above. By the way, this is the first political letter to the media I have ever written.
Robert C. Khayat

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