Wiseman Predicts Less Republican Unity in 2011


Director of the Stennis Institute of Government Marty Wiseman said the race for governor could be close.

The state's Republican unity may breakdown in 2011, as Gov. Haley Barbour's term comes to an end, predicts Dr. Marty Wiseman the director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government at Mississippi State University.

"I think we're going to see some changes," Wiseman told a crowd at the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership luncheon at the Jackson Hilton yesterday. "People have become so accustomed to the Barbour-led Republican Party being air-tight--just a fine-tuned machine with databases and with the king of political strategy in charge of everything. But now we're fixing to cut the pie up four or five different ways, and have different opinions with no clear favorite regarding just who's going to win (the governor's seat), chopping away at that Republican structure that was so solid under Governor Barbour."

Wiseman added that he did not expect state Democrats to mount a threat against a Republican replacement to the governor's seat, but said anything was possible if Democrats could field a believable candidate.

"(Mississippi Democrats') ability to raise the kind of money to be competitive is in question, but the odd thing about it is that the Republicans need to look over their shoulders at any legitimate candidate because any legitimate Democratic candidate starts off with about 40 percent of the vote. It's that mountain of a 10 percent that is the fight," Wiseman said.

On the national stage, Wise said former Republican vice presidental nominee Sarah Palin could be an unstoppable force in the 2012 race for president in the Republican primaries.

"People are mistaken if they discount her," Wiseman told an audience of about 70. "Remember that the Republican Party doesn't go to a convention hall and a smoke-filled room and negotiate and come out with a candidate anymore. ...(W)e will know who the nominees are six weeks before the Republicans ever get to the convention, and most states have winner-take-all laws where if you win the primary, you get that state's vote."

Wiseman said that by using communication methods such as Facebook and Twitter, Palin is becoming a household name for the people who follow her, and that her list of followers is "getting bigger and bigger and bigger."

"There may not be any way that the Republican powers (can) stop Sarah Palin from getting the lion's share of the delegates, because if you get past her, you've got all kinds of opinions on other possible candidates, whether it's Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, or Mitt Romney. It's scattered all over the block, but her support appears to be consolidated," Wiseman said. "It was fun to talk about her a few months ago, but you don't see too many people laughing at her candidacy anymore."

Previous Comments


Dr. Wiseman is a sharp guy. I always enjoyed my discussions with him when I was at State and lived in Starkville.


Why am I seeing an ad on the right side of the page for Rick Scott for governor of Florida? Did the JFP secretly move to Florida and turned into a right-wing mouthpiece? LOL

golden eagle

You caught us, golden. ;-) I think it's some ad network we're part of. Surprises me, too, from time to time.



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