OPINION: Tuning in to Tate Television


Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves appears headed for a promotion. He's the front-runner for Mississippi's next governor this fall.

Reeves leads all candidates in the most important measure in politics: money. The Republican's campaign started June with $6.3 million on hand, far ahead of any of his rivals. And he's already put that money to work with television ads. His commercials have flooded local television news programs in the last few weeks. His current or potential opponents have been little seen.

One of Reeves' latest commercials purports to take a look inside the Reeves family household. No doubt focus groups loved this miniature episode of "Father Knows Best."

The only thing the commercials are missing is a cute pet.

Reeves' wife, Elee, narrates this folksy TV ad. We are told that the two oldest Reeves daughters are competitive, just like their father. We also learn that the youngest daughter is nice and gets up early, like her father, so they can spend daddy-daughter time together.

We're also told that raising three daughters has sharpened Reeves' negotiating skills and will benefit him when he has to negotiate as governor.

As the father of two daughters, I agree that dealing with a household of women can involve much back and forth. But if Reeves ever has to negotiate as governor, the person he's negotiating with won't be worried that he might take away her or his cellphone or car keys.

So far, Reeves' ads have only mentioned one opponent: his likely Democratic foe in the general election, Attorney General Jim Hood. In two ads, Reeves tries to contrast himself with Hood. He says Mississippi needs a governor "strong enough" to keep reforming schools; keep the state economy moving in the right direction; and "stand up" to "coastal elites" who want to restrict Mississippians' religion to church or allow abortion until

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