If you listen closely, you'll hear it: it's the sound of 147 Republicans who hope to replace Sen. Thad Cochran weeping.
OK, maybe it's not quite that many. But Mississippi pols have been jockeying for position for a while on the chance that Cochran, who is so old that he remembers a time when Congress did stuff, retires when his term is up.
But Jonathan Martin of the New York Times wrote on his blog, The Caucus, that Cochran, 75, is raising money like a first term representative.
Martin notes of Cochran:
"He is hosting a breakfast Friday morning at a Capitol Hill restaurant, charging $500 for individuals and $1,000 for political action committees. Next month, Mr. Cochran will attend another, pricier breakfast featuring former Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi at Mr. Barbour’s namesake Washington lobbying firm. And in November, Mr. Cochran is staging what he’s billing as a “fall retreat” at a new resort in Middleburg, Va."
Earlier this year, Cochran held fundraisers in West Point, Miss., and Washington D.C., records from the Sunlight Foundation's Political Party Time site show.
It's likely a safe Republican seat, though a high-profile Democrat could creep in if the Republican primary leaves the nominee bloodied and weak.
At this point, Cochran is kind of like a dominant male lion at the watering hole. Other Republican hopefuls just have to sit back and wait for Cochran to have his fill (serving in the Senate is the water in this analogy).
If they don't, Thad will have them for lunch.