Gov. Haley Barbour is holding a press conference with Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat at 11 a.m. today on campus. This press event was already scheduled, but took on a new urgency after John McCain announced that he was standing Oxford up for the presidential debate this Friday. One wonders how the governor will handle being stuck between a frantic Oxford and supporting a candidate he doesn't like much of his own party.
Ole Miss had put out this statement earlier on their debate Web site:
Gov. Haley Barbour, who saw Mississippi through the worst natural disaster in American history, and University of Mississippi Chancellor Robert C. Khayat, who has brought about positive change and reconciliation at the institution, host a news conference at 11 a.m. Thursday, (Sept. 25) at the Ford Center entrance on University Avenue.
Media representatives are invited to come ask questions and hear welcome remarks from Barbour and Khayat. For more information, contact Rick Looser at 601-832-1050.
We're not sure exactly what Katrina has to do with all this, but hey. The JFP will have a full report after the debate.
In a Daily Journal story today, Patsy Brumfield quoted this from Pete Smith, Barbour's spokesman:
Asked if Barbour had any comment on McCain's announcement, spokesman Pete Smith said only that "the governor has been busy today working on Mississippi's economy."
Eek. Yes, and this week Mississippi's economy is, in part, wrapped up in what happens Friday. Especially Oxford's.
In the same story, Curtis Wilkie lays it out:
Curtis Wilkie of Oxford, who covered politics nationally and internationally many years for the Boston Globe, characterized McCain's decision as a "chess move designed to put Obama in a corner."
"I don't think it was wise."